Friday, November 5, 2010


A note about the pictures.  I have been posting pictures from the internet.  I have yet to down load mine into my computer.  Maybe next week after I finish my trip summary on Monday, I will start to post my pictures with just a caption.  Today is really my first day without the infection I got from my cold.  I will now have more time.

I chose to do a second day in Machu Picchu.  I really wanted a day for myself to take pictures and just enjoy the majesty which is Machu Picchu.  Again the buses just run non-stop.  You do not have to worry about getting there for a set time.  When you travel alone it makes it easier because once the bus is too full to allow the next group on they start looking for people travelling alone or in pairs.  As soon as I got to the bus station - 3 minutes from my hotel - I got on the bus.  They were looking for someone travelling alone.

Someone asked me the other day why I travel alone.  I really do not - I travel in the perfect group - me and anyone one I meet.  Everyday I was in Peru I was hooked up with people I enjoyed travelling with.  I was fortunate that with the exception of the trip south everyone in my groups were always older than me - just fine with me.  It allowed for slower tours - more sitting time - someone other than me asking for the bathrooms.  So technically I was never alone and in fact enjoyed every one's company.  The key is - when I am done with the tour I do not have to deal with anyone saying - "let's go eat ....." or "let's not go out."  Sometimes I joined people in the tour for dinner, and sometimes I did not.   I felt no obligation.  It is a perfect balance.

The first picture shows the terracing.  The Inca used the terracing for two purposes.  One to grow food.  Two to control mud and rock slides. 

The second picture shows how they built right on the cliffs and used the terracing to control the mud slides.

The third picture shows a stone which has two basic purposes.  It is believed to have some type prayer  function.  People who believe Machu Picchu is an energy source go to this stone for prayer.  The stone also has a function to determine the seasons.  On the side there is a part which protrudes.  It casts a shadow at the beginning of Spring and Autumn.  There is another building which does the same thing for Winter and Summer.  The Sun comes though specific windows for the Winter and Summer solstice.

The last picture is of the lawnmowers.  This is actually being done at several national parks in the US, but we use sheep.  There are just enough to keep the lawns mowed, but not so many as to be a problem for the tourists.

Back to my tour groups - several days earlier in Cusco while taking a tour of the city and some surrounding ruins, I met an English couple and a woman from Australia.  We spent the next couple of days together, except we had three different tours of Machu Picchu.

The second day I was sitting in the shade just enjoying the view, when they came walking by.  We chatted for about 30 minutes and then we were off to see Machu Picchu a second time.  I chose to climb an area I avoided the previous day.  While I am glad I did, it nearly killed me.  When I got to the top I was on the ground gasping for air.  I just closed my eyes and focused on the valley while slowing my breathing I was fine.  I chose to not tackle the second peek I had avoided the previous day.

You cannot do this in a 2 1/2 tour.   This is why  I recommend you do day one with a guide and day two by yourself.

Again I got to see the storm clouds come over the Andes from the Amazon.  It was truly amazing.

I had to make a decision about lunch.  I made the wrong decision.  The problem with the food in the Andes is, it is geared for the tourists.  I just refused to eat Italian while in the Andes.  My package did not include a second day of a free lunch in Machu Picchu.  I decided I did not want to pay $33.00 for a lunch buffet which I knew I enjoyed the previous day and instead decided to go the mountain to Aguas Calientes for lunch. 

I chose a place on the river where I would get to sit and watch the river run towards the Amazon.  the view was amazing bu the food was terrible.I did find to meals commonly eaten in Peru, but they so changed it with a European flair I basically left it.

Well I had a 3:30 train back to Cusco.  I chose to do some shopping.  I was tired so I also chose to back to the hotel and rest in the hotel lobby.  The hotels are great - even though you have checked out you can still rest in their lobbies and use their internet.  At the appointed time I followed the bellboys to the train station.  they had a cart filled with all of the luggage from the hotel guests heading back to Cusco on the same train.

The train ride was awesome and so too was the food - Monday I will end this with my return to Cusco for the night, flight back to Lima and final day in Lima.

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