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Feb 4th - Feb 6th 2011

Peru Cont.

 

04/02/2011

Start Mileage - 33707

Miles - 15

Urubamba - Ollantaytambo (Hostel Los Polados)

Time to get out of here, the visit to Simon didn’t pan out the way we had thought it would. With the fiasco at Simons and another sleepless night for him Skips mood was lower than a worms belly. We were thinking maybe we will be going our separate ways after this upset, we’ll see how it goes.

We packed up and got ready for the off, Rachel went over to the house to let Simon and his wife know we were leaving, apparently they were upset at our attitude and were expecting us to stay for a few days to take advantage of the overpriced  tours that their company was offering.

It had been raining over night and the mud road from Simons up to the main road was a bit slippy, watching Skip in the mirrors coming up behind us at an angry rate of knots I expected to be wading back through the mud to lift the Dommy back onto it’s wheels!!!! Fortunately we both made it out OK.

We decided to ride back out through the Sacred Valley to Ollantaytambo rather than staying in Urubamba as it would be easier to get to Machu Picchu from there. 30 minutes up the road and we are parked up in the main Plaza. Lorraine and Rachel set off  to find a good hostel while Skip and I have a coffee  The weather has changed for the better along with Skips mood. The problems with the bike and lack of sleep at altitude didn’t help and Simon was the icing on the cake for him. A few more coffees then the girls came back, the first hostel we saw as we came into town was the only cheap one they could find with parking attatched.

Rooms sorted and bikes offloaded, there are two other bikes parked at the hostel, one U.S. and one French registered, no sign of the owners though. We walked into town to suss out our options for Machu Picchu. We had hoped to be able to ride up to Aguas Calientes via Santa Teresa and do the 3 hour/14KM hike up to the site but the road was closed apparently so here we are in Ollantaytambo checking out the alternatives. We opted for the train, the cheap “Backpacker” tickets had sold out so we took the next class up, 142 Soles for the two of us, return. That was easy! Train leaves at 06:00 tomorrow morning, that won’t be so easy!

As we are having lunch the rain came in heavy, we noticed a loaded bike pass by a couple of times, they looked drenched! We waved them down to see if they were looking for the road to Machu Picchu or hunting down accommodation. Ken and Mellina are looking for a hostel so we direct them to where we are staying.

Back at the hostel we told Ken and Mellina the info we had found out about the train, we also met the owner of the French bike, the other had moved on.

We met up with the French couple again at dinner, they were leaving tomorrow but gave us a good dirt road route they had taken to the ruins at Moray, we hadn’t planned on going there but as it is on the way out of town we may as well.

Booked two Tuk Tuk’s to run us down to the station and turned in early for an 04:30 get up!

 

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05-06/02/2011

Ollantaytambo (Hostel Los Polados)

05/02/2011 - Up on time and just enough time for a shower and a coffee before the Tuk Tuk’s turned up at 05:15. A short trip to the station, we paid 2Soles, Skip and Rachel paid 5Soles!!!

The train left at 06:00 on the dot for the one and a half hour ride through the rainforest to Aguas Calientes. We had to buy our entry tickets to Machu Picchu (126Soles each) in Aguas Calientes. Lots of tourist tat for sale and lots of tourists but we found the ticket office, joined the queue and handed over the money. Now we have to take a 20 minute bus ride from the town to the ruins. We joined one of the queues for the many busses that transfer the punters up to the ruins but when we get to the front of the queue we are asked for our bus tickets, bugger!!! Found the ticket office and handed over more cash  - US$ 15 each, back to the queues.

We arrived at Machu Picchu at 09:15,

What a place!! I’ve seen pictures, but to see the place 1st hand is amazing, even with the hoards of tourists. To avoid most of the tourists who go straight to the main ruins, we took the uphill path to “Intipunku - The Sun Gate” which is at 2720 Mtrs above sea level and at the end of the 4 day hike along the “Inca Trail” which starts 88KM’s from Cusco. After getting our breath back we headed back down to the main ruins. You can see why it was built where it was, it is so high that nothing could approach without being spotted, and they would probably be worn out by the time they got to the top!!! Even higher than Machu Pichhu is Huayna Pichhu or Wayna Picchu, built for the high priest and local virgins, it is built on the rock adjacent to the main ruins and stands 360Mtrs higher.

After walking for miles and taking hundreds of pictures it is time to make our way back to the busses and the train station. We bumped into Ken and Mellina again, they were staying a bit longer, they couldn’t get tickets for the same train as us and had to pay extra for the 1st class train that runs from Cusco. We got the timing right for a change, just as we boarded the train it started to chuck it down! Back in Ollantaytambo the sun is back out so we head to the plaza for a coffee, as we are sitting there we spotted a couple of GS’s riding around the plaza so flagged them down. Neil and Mark from Canada, looking for a hostel so we sent them to ours …. We should be getting commission!!!!!

Dinner then crash out!

06/02/2011 - Long lie in until we hear Ken and Melinna packing up to leave. After they had given us their contact details for Utah they set off the same way as they arrived .. In the rain!

Out for breakfast then more climbing to more ruins up the hill in Ollantaytambo. Rest of the day spent recovering from all the walking!

 

 

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