18 June 2014

Peru: Day 9: Machu Picchu

An early morning, with little sleep. We caught an early train into Aguas Calientes, met our guide Augustino, and hopped on a bus up to Machu Picchu, the grandest city of the ancient Incan empire. A was our guide for a few hours, taking us around the remains, explaining what we knew about the site and why we knew it. We saw the Temple of the Sun, with two windows pointed at the rising points of the sun at the two solstices. We saw two stone compasses, houses, an ancient Incan toilet, evidence of abandoned growth, and millions of terraces. We ate overpriced empanadas. We hiked to the Incan Bridge, and we scouted our where to go tomorrow morning for our sunrise journey. We saw mountains, cliffs, bridges, temples, llamas, and thousands of tourists.

After returning to Aguas Calientes, we checked into our hotel, drank our complimentary Pisco Sour, and tried to find a hot tub to dip our legs into. Unfortunately, a family of loud Americans had monopolized the pool and both hot tubs, so it was impossible to get close to a water source without being splashed. We retired, cleaned up for dinner, ate at the hotel restaurant (smoked trout tartar, corn and quinoa soufflé, cuy confit, mushroom risotto), and then walked through town as kids played soccer and shopkeepers closed up for the night. It's off to an early bed for us tonight, so that we can make it to the top of the mountain in time for sunrise in the morning.

Alas, no pictures today. I took lots, but the internet here is very slow. Just text for now. Photos to follow.

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