Cuzco and Machu Picchu

Trip Start Nov 02, 2007
Trip End Mar 01, 2008

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

En Francais en bas du texte!

We spent the last 4 days of our trip in the jungle around Cuzco....We enrolled for a 4 days jungle trail which highlights included walks through the jungle (a lot of it!), thermal springs and a ticket to the mighthy Machu Picchu.

The pictures will speak for themselves.

On the first day, we were taken to the top of the mountains at 4500 m altitude from where we cycled downhill for the rest of the day. Early in the day it was cold and rainy because we were so high in the mountains. The road was wet and soon, we were soaked too, Dave and I were the only ones without ponchos and we fell really for ourselves most of the day. At every corner there was a waterfall crossing the road. By the end of the day we were experts at crossing them on our bikes. When we finally got further down in the valley it warmed up and our clothes dried but the road became a dirt road so we developped a taste for mud. We arrived in Santa Maria's petrol station (our hostel for the night) exhausted but rather impressed to have cycled a whole 94 clicks, distance which our guide informed us about afterwards rather than at the beginning of the day, of course.

The second day was solely dedicated to walking to Santa Theresa. It was pouring rain in the morning and our clothes were barely dry from the previous day but we found ponchos in the village! An awsome trek through the mountains via former Inca trails offering extremelly rewarding vistas of the valley and the furious Urubamba river below. We are delighted to find the hot springs of Santa Theresa after 10 hours of walking.

The third day we start in the morning with a walk along the river, it is an easy walk. In the afternoon, we follow the train tracks to Agua Calientes and we are so tired that this section is hypnotising all of us. We can't wait to get to the modern settlement of Agua Calientes from where one can visit Machu Picchu.

On the fourth day - now everyone smells quite bad - we wake up at 4.30am to climb the 2000 and something steps leading to Machu Picchu. Fantastic challenge, but I wonder what I am doing here without even have had a coffee for breakfast! Also why the Incas built such steep stairs? We climb silently in the dark as the steps are actually visible. We hope the weather will be good so we are not doing this for nothing. Most of the time, there are clouds or mist around the site. But today, it seems that the skies are clear. Approching 6am, we climb quicker to make sure we get in before the sun rise - that's the whole point!

Entering the site and watching around us, we forget about the efforts and just enjoy the view. It is absolutely stunning. Our guide tells us Inca stories and explains the significance of certain buildings and we keep travelling but through time.

Nous avons effectue un tour dans la jungle autour de Cusco pendant quatre jours, cétait super. Le premier jour nous sommes descendus dans la vallee sacree en velo pendant 90 Km....nous avons dormi dans un station essence (plus confortable que le camping alors on sŽestime heureux!);

Le deuxieme jour il pleuvait des cordes heureusement qu íl y avait des ponchos a vendre au village car nous avons marche de 7h45 a 17h dŽabord le long dŽune riviere furieuse, puis dans la jungle en traversant parfois quelques villages c était tres typique, tres humide, plein de moustiques mais cela vallait la peine puisque nous sommes arrives pres dŽune source geothermique ou nous nous sommes baignes et reposes apres cette longue marche.

Le troisieme jour nous avons marche que 4h le long dŽune ligne de chemain de fer dans la vallee avec les montagnes gigantesques tres vertes autour de nous pour trouver encore une fois des sources dŽeau chaude a Aguas Calientes. 

Le quatrieme jour nous nous sommes leves a 4h30 du matin pour voir le lever du soleil sur le Machu Picchu. Il n'y avait personne a cette heure la...nous etions si contents d'etre tranquilles! Le site est grandiose. Je crois que les photos sont convaincantes!
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