What a glorious day!
We got up early and had some breakfast before making our way to the train station in Ollantaytambo accompanied by a parade of the town’s dogs! We boarded the vista train for our ride through the Andes to Aguas Caliente.
The train ride was a stunning two hour journey through the landscape of the valleys of the beautiful Andes mountains with a view of the Urubamba river to our left.
Upon arriving in Aguas Caliente, we walked to meet “Eddie” – our guide for the day in Machu Picchu. We boarded the bus and rode up and around the mountain to reach the entrance to the Machu Picchu site. We were amazed at the skill of these bus drivers, squeezing two buses into a lane that only looked wide enough for one.
Upon entering through the gates of Machu Picchu, we were immediately transfixed by the beauty of this place.
The ruins of Machu Picchu have a vibrant and spiritual feel and is probably one of the world’s best examples of architecture integrating with the surrounding landscape. Adding to Machu Picchu’s mystery is the fact that archeologists still do not know when or why it was built. The ruins were known by locals who led Yale archeologist Hiram Bingham to them in 1911. There is not a stone out of place there; terraces, gardens, temples, staircases, and aqueducts all have purpose and grace.
After two hours exploring Machu Picchu, we bid farewell to Sr. Betty and made our way to the entrance to Waynapicchu or Huayana Picchu.
We hiked up the steep mountainside for an hour and twenty minutes to be rewarded with the most stunning view of Machu Picchu and the valleys below.