We looked around for Machu Picchu tours but decided to do it without one and go with Damien, Cokie, and Jorge instead. First leg of the trip was a bus from Cusco to Urubamba which took about an hour. After checking into a hostel everyone went out to wander around the town but I opted to stay in.. great decision because when I flipped through the channels to the telly in our room the giants game was playing!! Cant believe I was able to watch all the world series games.... It was kind of depressing watching them win by myself though, especially when they showed shots of SF celebrating. And I cant believe its over now...
Anyways, the next morning we caught a mini bus (similar to what we took in cape town, huge van that packed in as many people as possible) to Ollantaytamba, where it happened to be the anniversary of the city so there were a lot of people and festivities in the plaza. We were going to hike to the next point but it had rained so the trail wasnt open? So Damien found us a ride from a guy with a truck. It was about a 3 hour drive over the mountain to St Maria. It was amazinggg. I dont even know how to put it into words. We literally went over the mountain, above the clouds, and back down into a valley. It rained, we saw snow, we were in clouds, and we saw the sun above the clouds. The landscape was beautiful, so many mountains and the road winded around all of them.
We finally got to St Maria where we found another ride to St Maria. The drive was pretty similar, winding roads around jungle-y mountains except the roads werent paved and it was a little more sketch as we were literally driving alongsides cliffs for half the time. He drove us as far as the road took us, which was to the train tracks (a lot of people just take the train to Mach but its really expensive, like 50 dollars each way so we walked it instead). It was dark at this point, and we only had one flashlight for the seven of us but it didnt matter too much because we just had to follow the tracks. It started to rain halfway through but it was a nice kind of rain, not too hard or cold. There was thunder and lightening too.
It took 3 hours to get to Aguas Calientes. Right when we got there we stopped at the first little shop and took over to make dinner (sandwiches).
Checked into a hotel and passed out with the plan to get up at 4am with the intention of trying to sneak into Machu Picchu (damien said he had done it a couple months ago). Got kind of a late start and when we got to the entrance point there were two guards that had no intention of letting us pass without tickets. So we had to walk all the way back to town (about half an hour?) and get tickets. The boys didnt have to money to buy them so it was just us that went. So much for getting an early start and beating the crowds. Rather than walking up to Mach we took a bus.
Machu PIcchu was incredible, you see pictures but the beauty of it cant because conveyed through words or photos. I honestly dont know how to describe it. Only thing that was kind of a drag was how many people were there, but we walked up one of the trails that didnt have too many people so that was nice. We spent a few hours there wandering then started the walk back down. Right when we got back into town a thunderstorm started, which rained (pun semi intended) on our plans to do the walk back to St Theresa that afternoon. We checked out the train option but opted to stay another night at the hostel and do the walk in the morning. We had the whole rest of the day to kill so we just hung out in the plaza.
Had to wake up early again the next day, but unfortunately Star was feeling miserable. Must have eaten or dranken something bad. She ended up going back on the train while the rest of us walked. It was really cool to do the walk during the day when you could actually see your surroundings after only being able to hear them. It was so beautiful, on one side there was this fat river and on the other side were massive mountains. Amazing. It took us two hours to get to the end of the tracks where we snagged a ride to St Maria. We waited a few minutes there until we hopped in another mini bus headed for straight for Cusco. Good thing the driver was literaly the slowest driver in the world. He packed soo many people in his van it could hardly make it up the mountain and around turns. When we were going quote fast, huge tour buses would pass us, really quickly too. It was annoying, I didnt even have a head rest to rest my head on
Finallyyyy made it back to Cusco, probably two hours after we should have to find Star going on her 7th hour chilling in bed. She was feeling better which was good because it was halloween!!! We dressed up and hung out around the hostel for a while then went out to a few different bars.
We were going to leave yesterday for Lima but that didnt happen, but we bought tickets for today so we are leaving in a few hours. Definitely gonna miss Cusco, its one of the prettiest places weve been and the hostel weve been staying at is a lot of fun. Im excited to come back!!