A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about mist

Machu Picchu - Day 26

The magnificent Machu Picchu

19 °C

We started early, around 5am, as the train to Machu Picchu left at 6.10am. The hostel organised a packed breakfast for us and we ordered a packed lunch too, so our bags were full to the brim with food for the long day ahead. The train journey was easy going, looking out onto the mist covered mountains, the powerful river and the life around. It was a bit shaky at times though and I did wonder how the train attendant was serving hot drinks without burning himself or other people at times.
IMG_1310.jpgIMG_1315.jpgIMG_1318.jpgIMG_1321.jpg

Just before 8am we arrived at Aguas Calientes and after a quick toilet stop, we didn't know where to go next. A woman in front of us didn't either and she had been to Machu Picchu 15 years earlier - it had changed that much. We got directions, passing over the same gushing river we saw on the train to get the bus stop, and another £25 later (the price of the return bus journey) we were on our way, winding up the side of a steep mountain. It was a little scary when buses coming down passed us! This is the view of the bus route once we were at the top:
IMG_1338.jpg

Then we were at Machu Picchu. What can I say? It is stunning, absolutely breathtaking. The location is beautiful and the fact that this city had been carved out and built on the top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere in the 15th century is mind blowing. And then to think that it was rediscovered as recently as 1911 and we're lucky enough to be able to travel here only 102 years later. It feels really special.
IMG_1323.jpgIMG_1325.jpgIMG_1329.jpgIMG_1332.jpgIMG_1334.jpgIMG_1336.jpgIMG_1337.jpgIMG_1342.jpgIMG_1345.jpg

After a short walk around the bottom of the inca city, Andrew had to get ready to climb Huayna Picchu - the mountain in the back of all the picture postcards of Machu Picchu. Here is what he says about it:
"The first part was really easy as it was downhill where you cross from Machu Picchu to Hauyna Picchu. Then it was pretty steep all the way to the top and there bits where you were very close to the edge. Some people, who were on the way down the mountain, were laughing at me because I was really heavy breathing! But I got up there in only 30 minutes, which is probably record time?! The way up wasn't as scary as I had expected, after reading all the blogs. To get to the very top I had to climb through a rock and up a little ladder, then you stand on some large boulders - a bit like Morecambe's stone jetty but a bit higher! I asked someone to take a picture of me right at the top and they didn't even get Machu Picchu in the background?! The view was really good." (Dictated by Andrew Waugh, Scribed by Stacey Waugh*)

And that's as much enthusiasm and embellishment as you will get from Andrew Waugh!! You can see from the photos that it was pretty incredible.
IMG_1348.jpgIMG_1349.jpgIMG_1351.jpgIMG_1353.jpgIMG_1355.jpgIMG_1357.jpgIMG_1359.jpgIMG_1372.jpgIMG_1381.jpgIMG_1382.jpgIMG_1386.jpgIMG_1388.jpgIMG_1389.jpg

While Andrew climbed I sat on a wall, taking in the view of the mountains, ruins and Llamas, and reading. At one point, a Llama decided it wanted to get involved, walked to the edge of the square, had a poo, walked to the top of the square and had another, then left us.
IMG_1343.jpgIMG_1344.jpg

Once he was back (Andrew, not the Llama), we walked around the rest of the ruins and had lunch sat in the shelter of one of the settlements.
IMG_1392.jpgIMG_1397.jpgIMG_1398.jpgIMG_1399.jpgIMG_1404.jpgIMG_1405.jpgIMG_1406.jpgIMG_1408.jpgIMG_1409.jpgIMG_1411.jpgIMG_1413.jpglarge_IMG_1417.jpgIMG_1419.jpgIMG_1421.jpgIMG_1422.jpgIMG_1426.jpg

We then took the trail to the sun gate, which is the point that those who take the Inca trail (a four day trek to get to Machu Picchu, which is closed in February) first see the inca city in the distance. It's about an hour and a half round trip, uphill for the first half, but worth every laboured breath.
IMG_1427.jpgIMG_1428.jpgIMG_1441.jpgIMG_1446.jpgIMG_1447.jpglarge_IMG_1458.jpg

And finally we took the short trip to the Inca bridge, which has some good views but the bridge really isn't worth seeing. Apparently it's where they used to kick the wooden plank away if they were being invaded.
IMG_1459.jpgIMG_1460.jpgIMG_1461.jpg

The best part of that was seeing some Japanese guys stand on the edge of the rock and pretend to lift up Simba on Pride Rock and sing! Andrew joined in:
IMG_1465.jpg

Just as we were walking to exit the park the rain came - we were so lucky with the weather. It was a long journey back to the hostel in Ollantaytambo, via a hot chocolate in Aguas Calientes and some sort of festival, and we were so tired when we finally arrived.

  • Andrew wanted the 'Dictated' bit in as he thought I wouldn't make him sound like him!

Posted by staceywaugh 16:43 Archived in Peru Tagged landscapes mountains animals buses mist Comments (0)

Lima - Day 20

Foggy Lima Town

27 °C

After our 3am arrival we didn't get much sleep before having to get up for breakfast, so when we were given scrambled eggs and strawberry jam (not for eating together!), it made us feel better about being awake. We also had to start taking anti-sickness tablets this morning in preparation for being at altitude in Ollantaytambo and Cusco and throughout Peru and Bolivia...it should be interesting to see whether or how we react.

We only had one day in Lima so we got up and out, only to find that there was thick fog and mist rolling in from the sea, which meant you couldn't even see the top of a ten storey building.
i00010.jpg

We walked towards the sea, but we have no idea what the view out was like?!The Miraflores area in Lima seems built for tourism, an area where visitors can feel safe in a city that doesn't have the best reputation. There were police and street cleaners everywhere, a nice promenade with sculptures, flowers and paved walkways.
large_i00020.jpg
i00024.jpg90_i00026.jpg

We walked down some steep steps in the cliff to get down to the sea. There were enormous birds in the water, alongside so many surfers, and we sat and watched for a while.
90_i00014.jpg
i00022.jpgi00018.jpg

A surfer guy told us it would be a good day for us to learn surf as we wouldn't burn our skin...obviously the Buenos Aires tan, if ever there was one, has faded! Down the opposite end was a pier, just like at the English seaside, but unfortunately they don't just take anyone on their Peruvian piers - Andrew was turned away for wearing shorts.
i00012.jpg

So we tackled the long walk back up some more enormous steps in the cliff side and out of breath and sweaty, we headed to a shopping centre to cool down. Inside was a big supermarket, so we had a wander round and saw this, which made us giggle:
i00016.jpg

We had lunch of falafel and chicken pittas and iced lemonade at a Turkish cafe called Tarboush and had a look in the shops. Around the square they have clothes shops that look like jumble sales, piles and piles of non-descript cheap clothing. Andrew was looking for another vest as it had been so hot, so he rummaged through the piles for ages pulling out women's vest after women's vest, to find nothing! I think he was a bit addicted in the end, trying to find a cheap deal.

Back at the hostel we had an email to say that in Ollantaytambo, the town we were supposed to be staying in when we flew into Cusco the next day, there had been a flood that had knocked out all the water to the hostel and some of the electric and communications. This was the first time we had to juggle our plans and we were worried we wouldn't be able to change our hostels around, but luckily it was a simple swap - we'd go to Cusco first and then Ollantaytambo to see Machu Picchu. I was concerned about the altitude as it would be worse for us starting off in Cusco, being higher than Ollantaytambo, and I was sad we couldn't go to Machu Picchu on Valentine's Day as planned, but obviously these were very minor things in comparison to the poor people of Ollantaytambo having their town and homes wrecked by floods!

That night we went for dinner at a Chifa restaurant in the square. This is a type of Chinese cooking in Peru that apparently uses Peruvian ingredients as substitute for those originally used in China that can't be found here. I didn't notice a great deal of difference taste-wise to be honest and I would have thought any traditional cuisine of another country in a new country would have to substitute some ingredients? So I assume I have oversimplified the description of Chifa! Anyway, we had steamed dumplings to start, I had an enormous three roast noodle dish and Andrew had a massive pork and rice dish. With drinks, the bill came to £15 - the start of the cheap food in our South American adventure.

We didn't make the most of Lima, mainly because we were tired, so after a walk around the tiny market in the square, we headed back to the hostel. On the way, we went down a street packed with bars and restaurants with people shouting and pestering for you to come in - it felt like being on the strip in touristy Spain or (closer to home for me, from my 'getting people into bars' days!) Ayia Napa, the only difference was instead of young men and women it was just old men. I think maybe they need a trip to Europe to see what works, or better, maybe just lose it altogether?

Posted by staceywaugh 13:43 Archived in Peru Tagged art birds fog funny mist pier seaside Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 2 of 2) Page [1]