Sunday, 26 July 2015

Finally, Machu Picchu! Historic ruins of Peru.


We had to wake up at 4am! 4!!!! This is because Machu Picchu opens at 6am and we wanted to be there for sunrise. Matt was taking the hour and a half walk up whilst I opted for the bus - it's expensive at $12 each way, but because we also had to walk Machu Picchu mountain, which has over 2000 steps, I decided I probably ought to save my legs as I knew I'd struggle anyway. There were 3 others getting the bus with me. You have to start queuing at ideally 4:30 to get on the first bus at 5:30. We got there at 4:40 and there was already a big queue. 

*Update*

So much for saving my legs lol. I didn't end up hiking Machu Picchu mountain. The weather got so hot, around 25 degrees, and the altitude was doing me no favours. I decided I wouldn't enjoy it so what was the point? Firstly our guide gave us a two hour tour of the area, informing us of the history as we stopped to take far too many photos. It's interesting that they will probably never know the real truth as to its purpose, it's all speculation. Also, so weird that the rulers legal wife was their sister - this was because they didn't want succession to escape from the family. 

Whilst Matt set off with others from the tour group to hike, I decided to go to the sun gate - however, on the walk there I began to melt. I cannot walk up hill to save my life. So... I gave up, and decided to visit the Inca Bridge instead. I really really enjoyed the walk there as it was relatively flat, in the shade, and best of all, very few tourists. The path reminded me of death road in that it was very narrow (far more so than death road as it was designed just for pedestrians), and it had no safety barriers to stop you falling/ jumping off the edge into the valley.








Afterwards I found a beautiful spot of the whole area and just laid down, listened to music and sun bathed - soaking in the surreal scenery. There was a group in front of me clearly on a meditation holiday, about 20 in a line with an instructor telling them what to do. Very weird to watch! At one point they all cried and hugged one another,.. I didn't understand why though as they were all talking in another language.

I re-met with a very very shattered and in pain Matthew. He did he mountain up in 1 hour 10 min, and down in 45 mins. He was already tired from his morning hike though up a million steps. I'm just so glad I decided not to do it because I really enjoyed my day and I know I wouldn't have liked that. We were in a rush to make it back to the town to catch the train so left straight away.

This time, instead of getting the bus (super long queues btw), I walked down. It made my calves ache by the end, but it was nice to do some walking at least- even if my legs were shaking. We also had to walk back to the town - that was more difficult as it was slightly up hill, but we made up with 40 minutes to spare before our train came.

The train journey was beautiful, weaving through the mountains and valleys. The train itself was great too, free drink and snack on board. It took 1 hr 35 mins to get to Ollytambo where we then had to wait an hour for our Loki bus driver to leave the town! Very frustrating when we were all shattered and just wanting a shower. It felt like it took forever to get back to Cusco. There was lots of traffic and it took over 2.5 hours.

Overall, I didn't think Loki travel was particularly good. I didn't enjoy the food as there were no options, just had to have things like avocado in mustard... Yuck!  Also, the guide wasn't great in terms of he wasn't that organised, and he didn't even make it to breakfast or Ziplining because he got so plastered in the club with his friends - highly unprofessional. I also didn't like how Loki guides just left people behind whilst trekking. We didn't stop every 30 minutes and wait for the group like other tours, we just kept going and that meant if you got injured, it would be hours before he noticed/ found you.

Although it seems very expensive on face value (we paid $270), when you break it down it wasn't TOO bad. It was $75 for train & $50 for entry = $120. $270 - $120 = $150 for the rest of it. For $150 we got - 3 breakfasts, 2 lunch, 2 dinner, 2 hostel nights, Mountain biking, Ziplining, Hiking, Hot springs entrance and a few bus rides. 

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