Machu Picchu and back to Cusco

Machu Picchu and back to Cusco
Cusco, Peru

Cusco, Peru

Machu Picchu 6th July It is 5pm and I am writing this section from on board the backpackers’ train as we journey from Aguas Calientes back up to Cusco. Our time down here was wonderful. We feel very lucky to have been able to witness the extreme beauty of this part of the world. Yes, you read correctly. Machu Picchu is downhill and to the NE of Cusco bordering the jungle. It was nice to have some humidity again too after the desiccating environment of Cusco. I got my curls back, even if just for two days. Cusco is so dry that you are constantly feeling parched and flaky. Our hotel in Aguas Calientes, The Presidente Hotel, turned out to be very comfortable. With a rating of only 2 stars it out performed our allegedly 3 stars Cusco hotel by miles! Breakfast provided us with more ABBA as well. Later, as we were watching the TV in the hotel foyer whilst waiting for our guide, we realised that there was an ABBAmania quest in Lima just recently. The Peruvian government must have done some kind of a deal with the Swedes. Our guide, Percy (a very Peruvian name!), met us at 8am and we caught the bus up to Machu Picchu. It was a spectacular morning with a cool breeze and a clear blue sky. There is something quite magical about this place. Even Percy, who works here on a regular basis, was visibly affected by the grandeur, serenity and mystery of this amazing site. Percy took us around most of the paths that we had explored the previous day but he brought the place alive for us. The Inca people were very spiritual and led quite ordered societies with a strict code of conduct. They also had amazing organisational, engineering, architectural, masonry and farming skills, to name just a few. I feel I could have fitted in here. It is actually quite distressing to contemplate their treatment at the hands of the Spanish invaders. Mark, Tom and I later hiked the 2 hr return trek up to the Puerto del Sol, or The Sun Gate, before heading back down to Aguas Calientes to catch the 5pm train. It was a fantastic two days and a real highlight of our trip! We have a free day in Cusco tomorrow before flying out to the jungle area of Puerto Maldonaldo, near the Bolivian border, on Tuesday. Adios

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