RobC: By way of a preamble, let me say that the trip is going very well and that we are having a great time with much offroad riding and great adventures. Whenever you do not hear from us for a few days it most likely means that we are in a remote area without Internet, as has been the case for several days after leaving Peru and while we were riding in the far reaches of western Brazil and in northern Bolivia. The blog is a bit behind and it takes a lot of work to get in the text and the pictures, but we will catch up, sooner or later. Meanwhile we will post older blog entries in the proper order.
Going back to where we left off a few days ago, here is RobT's adventure to Machu Picchu (while I stayed in Cuzco since I know Machu Picchu quite well from previous trips). Enjoy the pictures, which, as you know, show larger on your screen when you click on them.
RobT: Machu Picchu (Lost City of the Incas) was revealed to the outside world in 1911 by Hiram Bingham although known to the local people. It was built around 1450 and thought to house between 500 to 800 inhabitants. The city is pretty much 90% as it was discovered and only 10% restored. There is still work being done as they believe 35% has yet to be uncovered and documented. I did not get to see the Sacred Valley or hike the Inca trail. So much to see here and not enough time, but I will leave the other sites for a future visit.
Huayna Picchu is at 2720 meters, 360 meters higher than its neighboring Machu Picchu. It takes about an hour to climb the trail. The trail is treacherous and only in some spots there's a metal cable to hang on to. The stones are slippery when wet and its a long way down to the Urubamba river if you fumble a step. Legend has it that the peak was the residence of the high priest and local virgins.
Its a big step to the valley floor on the other side of those plants to the left.
Pathway travels along a ridge toward Huayna Picchu.
Final stairs to the top of Huayna Picchu
The bus travels through the 14 switchbacks below to get to the main gate of Machu Picchu.
Little black sign with a white arrow to the right of middle of the photo indicating which way to go once you crossed the rock face along the crack. You actually end up at the on a walkway in the bottom left of the photo. No railings or ropes to hang on to.
On top of Huayna Picchu
Some of he ruins on Huayna Picchu. The Urubamba river below.
I don't think these stairs are built to building code.
The Urubamba river as seen from along the Inca trail to the Sun Gate.
Machu Picchu seen from Huayna Picchu.
The following are scenes from around Machu Picchu.
For all you botanists, the light green plant is the Coca plant.
Huayna Picchu taken from below
Back at Aguas Calientes for supper and then the train back to Cuzco.
By 3pm I was finished ... between the hike yesterday, the Huayna Picchu hike and the Sun Gate, my legs were aching. I took the bus back down and of course, the sun came out. I wasn't about to go back. I had two bottles of beer to relax my aching muscles ... they were 620 ml bottles of Cusqueña, the preferred brew in these parts. :)