Sunday, March 30, 2014

Peru - Machu Picchu, part 3: Wayna Picchu

Thursday, March 13th, we were up early again and FINALLY got to take advantage of a free breakfast at one of our hotels. It was nice to start the day out with a full meal! We caught the bus and headed back up the mountain to Machu Picchu so we could hike Wayna Picchu.
I was pretty excited about doing this! They only let a certain number people into this part of the park each day...the first group between 7 and 8am, and the second at 10am I believe. We were in the first group and started making our way up. The morning was overcast which was so nice because it was a steep hike and that kept us cool! We had to stop quite a bit along the way to catch our breath...and take in the beautiful views too. It is CRAZY that the Inca brought rocks over to this mountain, built a super steep staircase AND constructed whole buildings at the tippy top!
the walk to the entrance of Wayna Picchu was nice and empty and so cool looking with the fog
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I think this was called the sacred rock and is the same shape as the mountain behind it
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best tattoo ever :-)!
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you can see the path we took in this one
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We were near the top of the mountain at this point and it was crazy how high and how steep the drop was. Then we had to crawl through this teeny little cave that I'm sure a lot of people don't fit through. Janna had been struggling with heights at certain points on the way up and when we got into that cave I understood EXACTLY how she had been feeling. I am definitely a little claustrophobic and we were stuck in the cave for a minute waiting for the people in front of us to exit and I could definitely feel panic setting in. Crawling out the other side was SUCH a relief! (see the exit below)
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Right when we got out there was a path to continue to the top, and then to the right were these crazy steps.There was a guy up at the top so we just assumed we could go up to. Janna waited it out and Kevin, Mike and I went up. It was a little freaky because there was nothing under you but air! A worker motioned for us to get down and came over. He said someone had fallen there before and moved a branch that was supposed to be blocking them back where it had been (I guess the guy we saw up there when we came out of the cave had moved it).
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Mike found this video of it on YouTube that gives you a better feel of how freaky it was going up it. Glad we survived it :-)!
CLICK HERE
The view from the top of the stairs looking left to right...
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Once we made it to the very top it you could see all around you in a complete circle which was amazing...and then you got to take this rock slide down the top part of the mountain which was another scary moment :-).
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The walk down the mountain was much easier than the way up!
(you can see janna on the platform to the left with black pants)
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The sun came out on our way back down and even though most of the trail is shaded we were feeling hot by the time we made it all the way back down. The people with the 10am entrance time were waiting in line to get in and we were feeling bad for them! I am so glad we went with the early time!
We ate a little snack, headed back to the bus and then stopped back at our hotel. We used their wifi for a bit, got the rest of our bags and then went back to "our" restaurant for more yummy food (especially the guacamole :-). It was nice to have some down time before getting back on train to start the journey back to Cusco.
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I wanted to bring this orange cat home for Addie
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the view of the restaurant from across the street/river, 
you can see Janna and Kevin if you look closely :-)
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The train ride home was WAAAAY more entertaining! We had a weird Peruvian clown danced around and we also had a fashion show of alpaca wear from some of the staff.
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Now that we were used to seeing the ruins, it was absolutely crazy how many we spotted on train ride and then on the van ride home as well. The town of Ollantaytambo where the train station was had some really cool ones that we wish we could have stopped to check out.
Our van picked us up at the train station and we started the next leg of our journey. It was getting dark and we were winding up mountain roads just talking when all the sudden our driver hit a sheep. A family was bringing their herd across the street and we aren't sure what they were thinking because their was a car in front of us too so they should have had some warning. We killed the sheep which was pretty sad. They just picked it up and carried it across the road and our driver checked the front of his van and off everyone went. Super interesting how they didn't even talk about it at all, and really it was fortunate that we only hit one of them.
We made it back to our Cusco hotel and fell asleep FAST!
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