This and That

December 19, 2010

Day 2 Machu Pichu, the highlight of the trip!

Filed under: travelogue — Tags: , , , , , , — yaadayaada @ 10:52 pm

On Day 2, since our train to Aquas Calientes was at 7am, our hotel packed us breakfast and arranged for a ride to the train station. We arrived at train station lugging our luggage. The station master and the train staff almost fainted seeing our luggage and then started laughing. The station master, then tells us that the max limit to take in the train per passenger is 5Kgs. And we had at least 200+ Kgs of luggage. Then we explained our situation that we are staying overnight at Aquas Calientes and we are on a 10 day trip with 4 kids and long story short, they loaded our luggage for us in a different compartment and let us in. The train ride was beautiful. We traveled in the Vista Dome train, they served breakfast but we could eat only the fruits and dessert being vegetarians. But it was presented beautifully.The train passed through beautiful Incan terraces with Maize, potatoes, beans and corn. The Urubamba river was also traveling on our side.



Train is the only way to get to Aquas Calientes which is about 20 minute bus ride from Machu Pichu. The other way to hike all the way from Cusco for 5-6 days! The train takes about 4-5 hours. We packed some rotis and teplas for lunch. We reached Aquas Calientes at around noon and a person from our hotel was waiting for us to take us to the hotel. We told the person we want to go to Machu Pichu first and requested him to take the luggage and he almost fainted seeing our baggage and then he entrusted our baggage to the security of the station and left with us to get the tickets for Machu Pichu and then to put us in the bus to Machu Pichu. Tickets to Machu Pichu has to be bought in Cusco or Aquas Calientes and cannot be bought at the entrance of Machu Pichu. The hotel staff gave us the direction to the hotel and left us in the bus station after getting the tickets. We left for the much-awaited trip with out backpacks, lunchpacks and umbrellas. The bus trip was nice. We got the first glimpse of Magnificent Machu Pachu from the bus.



Remember, I said Cusco is built like a Puma, Machu Pichu is build in the shape of a Condor. For the Incans, Puma represents the present, Condor the afterlife and Snake represents the past.Once we reached there, we finished lunch, finished our multiple bathrooms trip with kids and hired a guide and marched off to Machu Pichu. The kids were promised ice cream at the end of the Machu Pichu tour. So they did the 3+ hour tour on foot without any problem. They were real troopers. Machu Pichu is breathtaking. It is amazing how the city has been planned with its farming terraces, area for temples, the sun, earth and other nature elements, the nobles quarters, the separate quarters for chosen women and men.  To add fun, there were lamas roaming around with cute earings. Here are the Lamas and Lama’s view of the sun temple and Machu Pichu.




The temples were made with perfectly cut rectangular stones while the rest of the place has irregular stones. And the stone were cut by boring holes and then inserting wooden sticks inside the hole, add some sand and water, wood expands and cuts the stone. This is exactly what was done for Tanjore Big temple rocks as well. Irrespective of the time period, geography, people were the same. And some more nice pictures of Machu Pichu. In the picture below, you can see the temple of Condor. The second from left on top. The second from bottom left is the Sun temple. The people of Machu Pichu disappeared and there are only theories as to what could have happened, no solid proof. Since the Incans had no written script, difficult to assess what happened to them. And another amazing thing is the trials that the Incans have built through out these mountains. They have built steps to climb to the top of many mountains. Huayna Picchu or Wayna Picchu is the big mountain you see in the background. If you look closely, you might spot the Incan trail with steps and people climbing those.



After 4 hours, we got the kids the promised ice cream and returned back to Aquas Calientes for a well-deserved rest. Had a hearty dinner with live Incan music at the restaurant attached to our hotel and retired for the day. The next day’s plan was to visit Ollantaytambu/Sacred Valley and leave for Arequipa that night from Cusco.

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