Today our team enjoyed a leisurely morning in Aguas Calientes and a nice lunch at Inkaterra. After exploring the cobblestone streets and alleys around town bustling with markets and retaurants, we left on the train in the afternoon and made our way back to Cusco. We wrapped up the evening with a farewell dinner in a beautiful colonial restaurant serving delicious Peruvian cuisine and Sushi. We were all tuckered out after our trek and visit to Machu Picchu so after lots of hugs, we retired in the ever welcoming El Mercado hotel to rest up for another travel day tomorrow, this time returning to our respective homes.
We will all bring back a new perspective of Peru and all of its wonders, both historic, natural and personal. What an amazing country and people and what a great group to share the experience with trekking through the Andes. I feel extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to get to know and trek with such fine folks. Thank you all!
Until the next adventure, be well and Salud!
Today our team had the pleasure of visiting one of the 7 new wonders of the new world, Machu Picchu, a historic Inca site that has captured the imagination and hearts of millions ever since Hiram Bingham’s famous expedition with National Geographic in 1912 and was also declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1983.
Myself and Rivers braved the early morning crowds and got in line for the bus at 4:30 to try and catch the early sunrise on the city. We made it on time and watched as the sun rose over the mountains to the east and spread its light on the Inca Citadel. Built around 1450 presumably as a royal estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti, Machu Picchu sits on a ridge line around 8,000 feet above the Urubamba River.
The whole group met up early morning and some hiked to the sun gate while others climbed Machu Pichu mountain. We all met for lunch and then continued our visit with a tour given by our local guide Aly. We learned about their relationship to the sun,mountains and stars, witnessed the incredible stonework, and were smitten with the llamas. It was a long day but full, enriching and humbling to see this wonder of the world. It was extra special knowing we trekked over the mountains like the Inca did in the 15th century to reach this historic site!
Tomorrow we will make our way back to Cusco for our final farewell dinner before our team makes the journey home.
Yesterday was a big day for team Rose Bowl! After 6 days of trekking through the Andes we left the Lucma Lodge and headed towards Aguas Calientes, the gateway town to Machu Picchu.
After another delicious breakfast at the lodge we put on the day packs one last time and the majority of the group hit the trail, climbing over 2,000 feet through the cloud forest to the Inca site of Llactapata located high on a ridge between the Urubamba and Santa Teresa drainages. It is suggested that the site was an important rest stop and roadside shrine on the journey to Machu Picchu. We had perfect weather and could see the ridge where Machu Picchu sits from the site!
From there we hiked down to a lovely cafe perched high on an exposed ridge line and stopped for a leisurely lunch of avacado salad, chicken and lentils and rice with of course banana desert. It was a nice spot to rest and even catch a cat nap
After another 2,000 feet down we hiked along the river to the hydro eclectic plant aka the train stop where we met up with the team members who decided to take a rest day on their knees amd taxied to the train(options are good!) and we caught our train to Agaus Calientes. The train wrapped around Machu Picchu mountain and had beautiful sweeping views through the skylights of rugged Andean ridge lines and forested cliffs. We were dropped off near our beautiful Inkaterra hotel and all quite happy to take off our hiking boots and get into the shower!
We ended the day with a happy hour and a beautiful dinner together by the hotel, celebrating the completion of our trek to Machu Picchu! A job well done by all.
Overall quality of the trip was fantastic. Just enough trekking to enjoy the mtns but also have some downtime to allow for people to relax and enjoy other things. Quality of the food and lodging first rate. Demeanor of the guides were excellent. Mountain lodges or peru guide super knowledgeable. No weakness.