Peru 10

On Sunday the 13th of November, we took the train owned by Perurail from Cusco to Agua Calientes.   From there it is a short 5 mile ride up a cliff to the ruins of Machu Picchu.  This place is amazing.  As I have stated before, if this place is not on your list of places to visit before you die, then your list might be incomplete.   Machu Picchu impacted me in 3 ways:

  •     The Ruins and the History of the Inca's.
  •     The scenery of the mountain top location.
  •     The journey to get there.

Machu Picchu was discover by Hiram Bingham in 1911.  Hiram was the person after which the character in the movies "Indiana Jones", was based.  The photo, below, is the finally climb to Machu Picchu.  There is no road to Agua Calientes, so there are no private vehicles in the area.  I believe the busses were hauled in on the train.  This climb would have been a lot of fun on the KTM 525.  Hey, a guy can dream!  In the bottom of the ravine you can see the railroad and the Urubamba River, which ends up in the Amazon.

The train departed at 6:00 am sharp.

It took about 20 minutes for my blood pressure to drop to normal.  We attempted to get on the train at 14 minutes prior to six.  All we had with us was the return ticket.  I had to go back to the hotel, in a FAST taxi, then back to the train station with only 5 minutes to spare.

The train climbs through the more basic sections of Cusco.

Then across a 11,000 foot plateau.
Then, after about 3 hours, we are paralleling the dirt road we rode on the day before.
As the train descends down the canyon towards Machu Picchu, the canyon gets narrower and tighter.

There are many short tunnels.

Another tunnel/bridge.
And after about 4 hours we arrived in Agua Calientes.

Very touristy, but we liked it.

After the short bus hop, up the hill, we finally made it to Machu Picchu.

It really was a dream come true for me.

I think Sandy was also impressed with the magnitude of the entire experience!

The following photo is from a book called All the Best in South America, West Coast.

It was written by Sydney Clark in 1954.



The pictures are not from the exact angles as we forgot the laptop in Cusco..... Oh well, it will give me an excuse to return someday.

We already have plans, if we win the lottery. 

  1. Airliner to Cusco

  2. Then the Hiram Bingham train, from Cusco to Machu Picchu, for $417.00 per person, with music and entertainment (owned by the Orient Express)

  3. Then 2 nights at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge $550.00 per night, located right at the ruins.

Again, a guy can dream, can't he?

This is the east side of the ruins, looking north.

A nearly vertical two thousand foot drop off.

Thank God that a golf course developer didn't get a hold of this place!

I don't believe these steps, down the faces of walls, would be OSHA approved.

It is easy to see the original stone work, versus the restoration....
More spiritual cleansing fountains.

Notice how the floor and drain channels are carved from solid stone.

Also, notice the notching in the stones, on the face of the fountain wall (again, to minimize side to side movement during earthquakes).

There were two doors, which were also gates against intrusion.

Just above the header stone, there is a protrusion with a 4 inch diameter hole carved in it.

About 36 inches up from the ground, on each side of the door, there is a carved recess.

A door was lifted into position with the top ring, and then it was secured by tying the door on either side of the doorway.

The "Machu Picchu" lawnmowers....
Another cheesy "Black and White".
A bridge for the train, directly below Machu Picchu.
Sandy, and more notched stones...
This photo was taken from our table in one of the many restaurants which line the railroad tracks in Agua Calientes.

It was an unbelievable day.... If you have a chance, give Machu Picchu a try.  I don't think you will be sorry!

That's it through the 13th of November, 2005.   It is now time to get ready to travel farther south........ We are both ready to ride, after our 8 day break in Cusco, Peru.  It is currently hailing outside, so we may be another day or two....

Click on the "Next" button to continue on to Lake Titicaca........

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