Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Machu Picchu

The Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu is seared into my memory. Wow, the last 3 nights and 4 days, culminating in hiking up to, and all around Machu Piccu has been truly remarkable. I now have three new friends from Belgium and one from Spain that also shared this adventure. Here is a picture of the 6 of us with the driver of the van in the red outfit. When time permits, I will upload a gallery of shots from this four day adventure. Below is a brief description of the journey:

INKA JUNGLE-Mountain Bike and a Jungle Trek to Machupicchu
Day 01: Cusco to Santa Maria:
Tour Company Van with 3 Belgians (Valentin, Pierre, Mathias) Spaniard (Victor), My good Mexican friend whom I met in Banos (Victor), myself and the our Peruvian guide, Edgar. We started at 8 am and passed through the Sacred Valley, stopping in Ollantaytambo. Then climbing until the Malaga High Pass at 4,500 meters (1,4850 Ft). We then Rode mountain bikes down to Santa Maria, a Jungle Village(1,500m or 4,950 Ft.)
Day 02: Santa Maria to Santa Teresa:
Walk in the jungle on segments of the original Inca Road to thermal baths in Santa Teresa. Take a cable car across the Vilcanota River (River sacred to the Incas) . Thermal baths at Santa Teresa are 5 Star and very relaxing.
Day 03: Santa Teresa to Machupicchu:
Santa Teresa is at 1,900m (6,270 ft). We modify the planned all day hike to Aguas Calientes and take a Minivan to an area near a spectacular display of raw power with water coming out of the rocks. There is hydro electric generation going on here without a dam and it is also near a train station. We hike along railroad tracks to Aguas Calientes Village in the Afternoon and hike up a massive mountain that sits directly in front of Machu Picchu.

Day 04: Machupicchu - Cusco
At 4:30 in the morning, we begin to walk to Machupicchu. It takes us less than a hour to reach the site from our hotel and only about half an hour from the the river. All of us hike to the top of Wanna Picchu and I kike to the Sun Gate (Incapunktu). Hike back down the mountain and enjoy two massive dinners, some drinks and the combination train and bus ride back to Cuzco.
So much more to say about this adventure, but gotta run.


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