Trip Start Mar 12, 2012
57Trip End Jul 10, 2012
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Now, one (slighty strange) thing I've discovered on my trip is that I absolutely hate steps. One thing I dread is climbing up steps. It's effort, hurts my knees, and I just hate it. Weirdly, I don't mind walking upwards if it's a slope, no matter how steep, but steps I can't do
We spent an hour walking round and taking some photos while it was still empty, before meeting up with our guide Sam, who gave us a tour of the ruins. Machu Picchu was built around 1400, as an estate for one of the Inca kings. It was later abandoned, and although known of locally, was undiscovered by the outside world till 1911, when American historian Hiram Bingham found it
We also saw a couple of other temples, the sacrifice table, a sort of compass they had, and the main square. There was also this cool rock which was the same shape as the mountains. Sam swore it was naturally made, but we were all a little sceptical. Sam also explained the difference between the stonework. Some had the blocks cut exactly, and smoothed down, and others were rough and seemed to be made for for practicality than for looks. Apparently the stonework on the sacred areas was the carefully cut stone, and the rough hewn one was called rustic, used for general walls or farm areas.
After our really informative tour, we said goodbye to Sam, and then had the rest of the day free to explore
After the Sun Gate, we decided to explore the right side of Machu Picchu, which for some weird reason seemed pretty much deserted. We were getting pretty sick of the huge tour groups, so we went over there, found some empty terraces, and had a nap! It was so nice, and meant we could escape the midday heat. After that we just walked round the houses on that side, and joked we were house hunting, and ended up comparing all the houses. There's a couple of spots where you have the quintessential 'Machu Picchu photo'. But these were always packed full of people, so we decided to wait till most of the tour groups went home and then we'd have our photos there. Whilst waiting we ended up running into the llamas, and had one pose perfectly for us
As we went back down the steps, a little dog who Mike and I had seen at the sun gate started following us. He came with us down all the steps, and I ended up naming him Ferdy, as he looked like a little fox. By the time we were at the bottom of the steps, it was almost dark. We started to make our way along the road back to Aguas Cailentes. As we were walking, I spotted a little dog in the darkness. For some reason, I ended up calling out Pasha. My friends looked at me like I was a bit crazy, but lo and behold, the dog trots over to me, and it was actually her! She wagged her tail at me and gave me her paw. I gave her a huge fuss, and was like 'Pash, what are you doing here?' When Ferdy came over to see me too, she quickly defended me and told him in no uncertain terms to back off! I guess I was 'her' person, haha. So we carried on, with Pasha walking alongside me as usual. Suddenly as we were walking, these little lights kept flashing in the darkness. Fireflies! I'd never seen them before, and they were pretty amazing. So with fireflies lighting our way home, and with my reunion with Pasha, it was an awesome end to the day.
But when we got back to the hostel, it was time to say goodbye to Pasha. Of course, I ended up crying. She was the sweetest, most loyal little dog I've ever met, and if I could have taken her home with me and paid for her quarantine I would have! I still think about her a lot. We then went and had dinner and waited for our train. That evening we had a pretty horrendous journey back to Cusco. We waited for ages for our train to turn up, then we had to get a minibus back to Cusco, but we couldn't find it and started worrying it hadn't turned up. Luckily it was there, and by the time we got to our hostel in Cusco it was 2am. I had been awake for 22 hours, and all I wanted to do was sleep. It took forever to check into the hostel, and when I got to my room I collapsed into bed. But of course, it was a Saturday night, and the hostel had a big party going on, and my room was right next to the street, so all night I had to listen to drunken people spilling out onto the street, taxis hooting, people shouting. It was horrible. So after 4 hours of little sleep, I got up at 6am, to catch my bus to Puno.