First things first if you have never been to Machu Picchu there are about a million combinations of buses, trains and hiking to get you there. There is no road that allows you to drive directly to Machu Picchu.
Clive and I decided on the bus, train and 2.5 hour hike combo. The starting point is the city of Cusco where we hopped on a bus which took us to a trail whereby we hiked 2.5 hours to the town of Aquas Calientes at the base of the Machu Picchu mountain. On the way back we took the train part way followed by a bus back to Cusco.
Aquas Calientes is a great little town that is lined with restaurants and shops and if you are from Canada it will remind you of the ski town of Whistler.
A very popular Peruvian dish is Cuy (Guinea Pig). The Peruvians have been eating it for hundreds of years. It is just a hard thing to grasp coming from North America as every child probably had one of these as a pet.
When arriving at Machu Picchu the first thing you wonder is why they built the thing so damn high. I will admit that the views are amazing though.
It also gave me a chance to cross another world wonder off my list.
The Peruvian government is thinking about closing the mountain to tourists all together or to just select tour groups. There are over 2500 visitors each day that visit the mountain. Oh and by the way if you want to beat those crowds you need to get up around 4 am.
The Peruvian people are concerned with the preservation of this world wonder.
Just some local resident Llamas
This guy was just standing there catching flies with his mouth open. At first I thought he was stuffed since he did not move.
Now since it was not enough to hike 2.5 hours the previous day. I decided to also climb the Inka trail to the top of the next mountain called Manata. The picture of the stairs the Inka's built does not justify how steep the incline is. Throw your stair climbers away because this baby will kick your ass.
Straight up for 2 hours! My legs were ready to fall off and as you can see Machu Picchu is now far far away.
After climbing back down Manta, it was time for some reflection. I reflected that I do not want to climb another damn mountain.