Up at 4:45, quick breakfast, met our guide at 6am. He told us there is already a one hour line for the busses up. It looked like this.
The line moved and it only took us about 40 minutes to get on a bus. What a ride it is, though. Takes about 1/2 an hour, switchbacks up the mountain, only one lane, shared by busses in both directions and hikers. From the top, it looks like this.
You get your ticket scanned, you walk in, and you get the money shot right away.
I’ve seen plenty of pictures of Machu Picchu. What they don’t convey is the enormity of the site. It covers such a large area and has so many different facets to it.
The Incas used existing rocks as part of their construction.
As you probably know by now, I can’t resist pictures through windows.
I was especially taken by this rock, shaped to match the mountains it faced.
The number of terraces was perhaps the most awesome sight.
By the end of our visit, the low hanging clouds really swooped in.
It really is a magical place, and truly deserving of the overused “bucket list” phrase. Come to Peru!
The rest of the day seemed anti-climactic. By the time we got back into town, it was POURING. We ate at the same French bakery as yesterday. We walked around the market. The hotel so nicely brought our bags to the train station. Our train was on time. Oh, I promised a picture.
Our taxi driver who took us from Cusco to Ollantaytambo met us as promised to take us back. Our Cusco hotel upgraded us to a luxurious suite and had our luggage waiting there. We ate dinner at Marcelo Batata, just down the street from our hotel. A fabulous Peruvian meal with an appetizer, 2 main courses, 2 drinks and dessert cost $54 including tip. The first floor of the hotel is an art gallery that we wandered into because of colorful tapestries. We have no wall room at home, so instead we ended up with a hand painted ceramic bull, which you’ll see on top of houses in Peru as a symbol of good luck.
We return to Lima and sea level tomorrow, Ellen is looking forward to easier breathing!