From Lima I travelled to Cusco, and then arranged to go and see the famous Machu Picchu. I wanted to get there one of the most straight forward ways.
As it turns out even the easier ways of getting to Machu Picchu are not that easy either. No wonder the Spanish never found Machu Picchu!
Bright and early, we crowded on the chilly steps of the Cusco McDonalds and waited for our bus. From there we boarded our bus and took a very windy path, at times across a thin and bumpy gravel road above some exciting precipices into the valley below. After 7 bumpy hours we arrived at the carpark. From there it was a 3 hour walk through the rainforest to the town that we would stay the night at, Aquas Calientes.
I made some new friends from Ecuador and Chile on the trail and we happily wandered along, past the raging Willkanuta river. The steep mountains of the area towered over us, butterflies fluttered and tropical birds scrambled in the trees.
Getting to Aquas Calientes after 3 hours in the jungle bordered on the surreal, as it is quite developed, and it seems so different to its wilderness surroundings.
The next morning we were up at 4:00am to walk up to Machu Picchu itself. This is a steep little 1 hour walk. At the top it really was stunning, the mountains were shrouded in mist and Machu Picchu is really like an eagles nest, perched among the clouds.
Machu Picchu is located in the most stunning location. We wandered around the ruins, past ancient temples and houses. The way the stones are arranged is interesting, instead of using mortar the stones were cut to fit into one another, this also allowed them to move in an earthquake without the building collapsing.
It really is an amazing location, and I have to say, I am so glad I went.