Machu Picchu

11 10 2007

We´re in Aguas Calientes, the ¨Machu Picchu Town¨as it is also known. A small town where tourists probably wouldn´t come, except for their visit to Machu Picchu. In fact, it has become more of a town because of MP. I actually like it. But then again, I also like Panajachel, Guatemala, a touristy town. I like seeing the hippies, the Guatemalans, or in this case Peruvians, selling their work… I like seeing what´s being built (apparently a lot now that Machu Picchu is one of the new 7 wonders of the world). It´s quite the scene. Tonight we ate a typical Peruvian cuisine, including appetizer/soup, entree/and juice/tea, coca tea. For appetizer I ate Stuffed Avocado… incredible. Stuffed with tomatoes, cut green beans, cheese, mayonnaise, and some good-but-unidentifiable other stuff. Then for entree I had ¨Lomo Saltado¨: beef strips, bell pepper strips, onions, a good sauce.. hmm.. Very good. Jo Ann ate a potato dish and a fileted (sp?) breaded chicken. Jim had Quinua Soup and, get ready to gasp, Grilled Alpaca. He said it was good. But I´m sure you didn´t want to read about our food intake today.

So, Machu Picchu… and the train ride to Machu Picchu… oh, wow. The train did some weird stuff starting out, such as the switchback… three times, the train went forward a ways, then backwards. The first time it happened I honestly thought we were going back to pick someone else up, or to fix something wrong. Turns out that no, it´s just easier on shorter trains to do the switchback instead of turning corners quickly. The terrain/vegetation was strange.. we went through farmland, desert, and what appeared to be jungle yet with Dr. Seuss-like evergreens, orchids, tropical plants, then ferns, impatiens, geraniums… it just did not make sense, but was very pretty.

Once we got into our hotel (Wiracocha, and our roon number is ¨9¨, but our wooden key has ¨6¨on it. As long as they keep it straight), we bought our bus tickets for MP. The park, Machu Picchu is fabulous and phenomenal, and there were far too many tourists for my comfort level.. Plus that meant that most of our photos have tourists in them. Tourists besides us, I mean. Oh well. Anyhow, it was gorgeous, immense, incredible, awe-inspiring, crazy, intriguing, exhausting (the hiking up and down stairways). The highlight for me? Petting llamas. No, they did not really want to be pet. One, in escaping my pets, ran and almost ran into another tourist, but got scared, and jumped-spread eagle-over a rock. Unfortunately none of us got that on camera. But it really happened. Anyhow, the llamas were fantastic, even though they didn´t really want to be around people. We got lots of photos, which I can´t upload now because these computers are quite slow.

And on that note, I must go now. Computers are slow. We´re tired, and leaving on the first bus tomorrow (5:30 am) to return to MP… to climb a peak. And I can´t remember how to spell it now. Later. Then tomorrow evening we return to Cuzco on the train, and head to Puno (Lake Titicaca) the following morning… also quite early.

So, adios for now.