TBT: Cusco, Part 2
Originally posted: August 3, 2009
Location: Cusco, Peru

Okay, so last time I had just arrived at Aguas Calientes for the night, Wednesday night, before going on to Machu Picchu in the morning. I decided not to climb Wayna Picchu, the mountain overlooking Machu Picchu, due to exhaustion from the past 3 days. I was feeling fine, just very tired and worn out. And bug bitten, but those have mostly healed now. I didn’t feel like dealing with the crowd and the lack of sleep, so I got to sleep in until the luxurious time of 5am, unlike the hikers who got up at 3:30am. I went with the British girls, Sophie and Jen, and we caught the bus to the ruins at 6am, arriving at 6:30. They had just opened Machu Picchu a little while ago, so there weren’t a lot of people and the rush to get in line for Wayna Picchu was all over. We walked up to meet our guide at the highest part of the ruins and enjoyed the sunrise while we waited. Yes, it was that early in the morning. It was still dark as we stood in line for the bus, but close to dawn. As the sun rose, we began our tour of the ruins with a pretty good guide. He told us about the different buildings, about the ruins in general, about the history of the Incas. All very interesting, and in english so I didn’t miss anything. The tour lasted almost 3 hours as we walked all around the ruins, which were really spectacular. They’re quite large, with many different passage ways and buildings. Oh, and the llamas cutting the grass. I got a huge kick out of that! There were around 6 to 10 llamas just having breakfast on the lawn; apparently they were domesticated, and were clearly used to being around thousands of people. After the tour, I went with the British girls to hang out while the others climbed the mountain. They decided to sun bathe while I hid in the shade. Unfortunately, at noon there was no more shade and I am still paying for my mistake of forgetting sunblock that day. I burnt my shoulder pretty bad, and yes, only one. So I’ve got a lopsided tan going on right now, but it’s hurting less each day. I’ve been applying aloe liberally, but then I stick to my sleeves. We relaxed at the ruins for a while, and around 1pm were ready to leave. We got lunch at a restaurant, hung out the rest of the afternoon and bid our time until our train left. We rallied the troups and left on the 6pm train for Ollantaytambo, the midway point between Aguas Calientes and Cusco. I got unlucky and was stuck sitting with strangers, so I napped a bit and listened to music. At Ollantaytambo (which is quite a mouthful to say) we got on a bus and I sat next to Triny, one of the Chileans. We had a lovely talk about books we liked, from romantic novels to science fiction, and I found out that there is a 5th Twilight! This was very exciting news, though it’s too bad that half of the rough draft was leaked to the internet. Of course I read it, but I still hope that Stephenie Meyer will finish it. We parted ways, and finally I arrived back at the Loki Hostel. Luckily they had my room waiting for me and I happily climbed into bed after some vegetable soup and saying hi to the interns already here. Friday I had no plans, which definitely worked in my favor. I slept late and was on the computer when Jen found me (she and Sophie and the 3 Irish guys were staying at Loki too) and asked if I wanted to come to a market with her and Sophie. I got ready quickly and off we went. I found some really great gifts (you lucky recepients will just have to wait to see them!) and had a lovely time shopping with them. We got lunch in the plaza at an Irish pub, and I later said goodbye to them and the Irish guys. I’m really glad that I was on the trek with all of them, the group was just great. I ended up seeing the Chileans that night, out of the blue, and it was nice to be able to say a proper goodbye to them as well. Saturday was a lazy day, just read a lot and relaxed. My friend Sonia twisted her ankle the night before so I went with her to a clinic to have it x-rayed. She’s okay, but has a torn a ligament or something, I’m not completely sure. All in all, a slow day. Today the rest of the interns left for their flight and I watched them go sadly. My flight back to Cusco is tomorrow around noon; it was cheaper for me to book it then. Some of them are leaving for the US tomorrow, some are going up to Mancora (a major beach town), and I’m going with Alli and Conrad to Ica for a few days. I never got a chance to go sandboarding, dune buggeying, or even see Wakachina, so we’re going to do it all in a few days. We’ll leave later Monday, arrive that night, and I’ll be back in Lima on Thursday night for my flight home. It’s crazy to think that in just a few days, 5 to be exact, I will be flying home after a full 2 months spent in Peru. I’m just about ready to come home, and luckily the next few days are filled with things to do so that I’m occupied and not bored while I wait to come home. I’ll try to update on my Ica adventures before the flight home, so keep an eye out. ¡Chau! -Kate

Categories: Peru, TBT

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