Day 9: August 30, 2007
Machu Pichu and back to Cuzco
Woke up at 5:30AM to hike Machu Pichu. Took a bus up the mountain to get there. Toured the site but couldn’t see much due to early morning fog. Did see a chinchilla though. It's pretty impressive that the Incas built with such large stones at such a high altitude. Lots of the trademark Inca terraces and temples to the sun, moon, condor, jaguar, etc. There's even a system of irrigation still running up there.
Coco left around 10AM and I went alone to summit Waynapichu – the mountain overlooking Machu Pichu. It was a brutal hike. Had only 1 liter of water with me. Not enough when it got hot and the fog burned off. A very steep, challenging hike. At the top there's a boulder to sit or stand on and get a good view of Machu Pichu. It's so high up and so steep that sitting on the boulder you feel like you can easily fall straight off the mountain in every direction. It's probably not just a feeling. One wrong step and a several thousand foot fall is a distinct possibility. Not worth it.
Came back to Aguas Calientes for lunch. Another restaurant of Coco’s choosing. Not bad but also very expensive. Had a pizza. It was ok. Spent the afternoon in an internet café and wandering. Taking train back to Cuzco in minutes. Actually, taking the train to Ollantaytambo and then taking a taxi to Cuzco. Whatever.
The train wasn’t as great this time. Dirtier car, no overhead windows, and no free snack. What gives? Got back to Cuzco and went to the police department straightaway. Took a couple hours to fill out the police report, went to the Lares trek travel agency with the police, etc. Had a full body massage after. It was nice. Then got dinner in a little dive and did some internetting.