Thursday, April 27, 2017
Machu Picchu!! An introduction to the 4 blog posts for this magnificent place!
Machu Picchu! Just the name elicits thoughts of ancient indians building stone structures high in the mountains to avoid the violent Aztecs bent on enslaving everyone, or beheading people by the hundreds, as depicted in the movie "Apocalypto", possibly one of the most violent movies ever made. The name also elicits memories of history class or magazine articles, or travel blogs, or brochures of exotic, hard-to-get-to places that someday you will visit.
We are here to tell you this is a Must-See place! Telling about Machu Picchu will take 4 blog posts!!! The reason: to get to Machu Picchu, first you fly into Lima Peru, then fly into Cuzco, then take a 1 1/2 hour taxi or bus ride to Olantyambo, then a 1 1/2 hour train ride to Aguas Caliente, then a 30 minute bus ride to Machu Picchu! This is the way to do it! I wil tell you many people took a day trip from Cuzco to Machu Picchu. The busses leave early, arrive about 10 am and depart about 2 pm. In 4 hours, you can take a guided tour of Machu Picchu, take tons of photos, and quickly experience it. I am begging you not to do tis! Take your time! We did it over 5 nights; 6 would have been better! This is a destination that deserves your attention and time! You will be so enriched by spending more time in this area!
The next 4 blog posts will be as follows:
Cuzco- the capital for this area of Peru, and the main city. Cuzco exceeded every expectation we had! We wish we had spent more than 2 nights here (one on each end of our trip to Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu). Spending for 1/2 days here made us wish for a full day to explore. We never had the time to go through museums or adequately explore the side streets.
Aguas Calientes- described as a small town with really nothing to do, used only as a place to eat and sleep as you go to Machu Picchu really does it a disservice. With a river running through it, it is cute, has great restaurants, cheap, but authentic shops, and is surrounded by mountains and rain forest. And, it has thermal baths!!!
Huainipichu/Waynapichicchu/Huaynapicchu- These 3 names all are used to name the high mountain that over-sees Machu Picchu. Why 3? Don't know. It is even a bit confusing as you are directed by your ticket to go to the entrance, and it is spelled differently. But they all sound the same- although it takes a while to learn to say it.
Machu Picchu- The city itself. Amazing!!!! No matter how much you just stop to look and soak it in, the magic never ends.
Altitude sickness. Cuzco is at 12,000 feet- much higher than almost all of us have ever been, and Machu Picchu is at 8,000 feet, also quite high up. I had so much anxiety from what people said would happen and what I read, that I almost got sick just fromt the thought of going there. For Rich and I-nothing happened. We found that we could not speak long sentences without stopping to breath, and walking uphill was quite tiring. But many people expressed headaches, and just layed down in bed. Some people actually vomited. Everywhere there are tanks of oxygen to help people. Honestly, we didn't see people have that many problems. But we took ibuprofin the day before and the morning of, and did drink the coca tea everyone offers. There are also altitude sickness pills, named sorrochi, available fairly cheaply in an pharmacy. I did buy them and use them.
So here goes! I am going to relive an incredible experience while telling you about it!!!!!