Machu Picchu Day 1 (lots of pics!)

Wakey-wakey! I’d gone to sleep with the worst headache I may have had ever. I should have drunk more water yesterday – a lot more. I woke a little before 5am to grab some breakfast, pack up and be downstairs at 5:30 for my departure to Machu Picchu (5 hours away by bus-train-bus):

CuscoAC

The itinerary for today reads: Transfer from your Cusco hotel to the bus, then the Vistadome Train. You will arrive to the AguasCalientes Station in Machu-Picchu where you will be transported by bus to the top of the mountain and citadel of Machu-Picchu, one of the most renowned examples of Inca architecture, surrounded by lush cloud forest. Lost in history, it was not discovered until 1911 by the American explorer Hiram Bingham. After a guided visit of the ruins, you will have lunch at Sanctuary Lodge. Dinner included.

Breakfast was gross. The orange juice tasted more like lemon juice. The coffee was instant and the bread was untoasted and dry. I ate it anyway; who knew when there’d be food today. I thought about taking the 2nd bread for later, but left it. G’bye Christo Blanco Hostel! You sufficed.

NOT-good 5am breakfast at Christo Blanco hostel.

NOT-good 5am breakfast at Christo Blanco hostel.

Willy Goyzueta! Two-hour bus from Cusco to Panchar. Then 2 hours on the PeruRail Vistadome Train through the scenic Sacred Valley to Agua Calientes. This was a nice train with decent breakfast. I sat across from two Brazilian ladies who spoke neither Spanish nor English and next to a Eric, a Brazilian traveling alone who spoke decent Spanish. We chatted about Asia, his trip here in Peru and the merits of traveling alone. I got him to laugh with a silly joke: I asked him, “¿Conosces Willy Goyzueta?” He looked puzzled, shaking his head no. I became more adamant, “Willy Goyzueta! Willy Goyzueta!” as if the name was the most obvious thing in the world. “No conosco!” he insisted. Then I showed him the picture I’d taken a few minutes before – the 3rd one here:

The scenic Vistadome Train from Poroy to Cusco.

The scenic Vistadome Train from Poroy to Cusco.

Hi. I slept in a 58° F room and got up before 5am. How YOU doin'.

Hi. I slept in a 58° F room and got up before 5am. How YOU doin’.

"Conosces Willy Goyzueta?"

“Conosces Willy Goyzueta?”

Breakfast on board the Vistadome Train.

Breakfast on board the Vistadome Train.

Sacred Valley scenery out the window of the Vistadome Train.

Sacred Valley scenery out the window of the Vistadome Train.

Eric from Brazil speaks no English, but just enough Spanish.

Eric from Brazil speaks no English, but just enough Spanish.

Vistadome Train from Poroy to Cusco.

Vistadome Train from Poroy to Cusco.

Approaching Aguas Calientes at the base of Machu Picchu.

Approaching Aguas Calientes at the base of Machu Picchu.

We got to Aguas Calientes where a Condor Travel tour guide was waiting for me and 2 others; an older couple from England, Elizabeth and Mike. The half-hour bus ride wove side-to-side up the mountain, where our tour started straight away. I’ll let the photos tell the rest. (Don’t you love the llamas?!)

My German seatmate snapped pics as we zig-zagged up to Machu Picchu.

My German seatmate snapped pics as we zig-zagged up to Machu Picchu.

Elizabeth from England, not far from Stonehenge.

Elizabeth from England, not far from Stonehenge.

Hi. I'm here.

Hi. I’m here.

This llama knows what's up. She's like, "What?"

This llama knows what’s up. She’s like, “What?”

Another shot of the Incan ruins with Wayna Picchu in the background.

Another shot of the Incan ruins with Wayna Picchu in the background.

photo credit: Elizabeth from England.

photo credit: Elizabeth from England.

Awesome tour guide, Paul from Condor Travel.

Awesome tour guide, Paul from Condor Travel.

Taking pics of people talking pics.

Taking pics of people talking pics.

Llama grazing flats at Machu Picchu. (Hi, llamas!)

Llama grazing flats at Machu Picchu. (Hi, llamas!)

Visitors crawling all over these ruins!

Visitors crawling all over these ruins!

Orchid above. Begonia below.

Orchid above. Begonia below.

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Along a wall at Machu Picchu

Along a wall at Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu around 4:30pm, May.

Machu Picchu around 4:30pm, May.

A bewildered llama leader questions my motives.

A bewildered llama leader questions my motives.

A flock of determined llama ascend the centuries-old staircase.

A flock of determined llama ascend the centuries-old staircase.

A llama I've named Brutus gazes at the ruins in the waning sunlight.

A llama I’ve named Brutus gazes at the ruins in the waning sunlight.

A lone llama ponders the lost Incan civilization at Machu Picchu.

A lone llama ponders the lost Incan civilization at Machu Picchu.

7 thoughts on “Machu Picchu Day 1 (lots of pics!)

  1. The Brutus picture is FANTASTIC!!!!! You should’ve named one llama Dolly . . . so you could say you saw the Dolly llama (never mind!)

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