(Part of a series of articles by Fi trawling the archives for photos taken on the tiny compact camera way back when).
It was raining heavily by the time we reached Aguas Calientes but our first shower in days sorted us out. We had a quick meal with the man who was to be our guide for the next day and then headed back for an early night. We wanted to be one of the first on the site that next morning – and we managed it. The mist parted and as Paul turned 32 we saw the beauty of Machu Picchu as the sun came up over the mountains. I won’t even attempt to explain how mind blowing it is to imagine how the hell such a place was created on the top of a massive hill, miles and miles from anywhere, oh yeah and by hand in the 15th century. It’s crazy! It’s also kind of sad to watch up fill up with gigantic tour groups tramping around… there’s even graffiti in some spots. We were glad that we had made it there early and after a couple of hours could take no more of the crowds so headed back down into the town to check into our hotel for the night – Gringo Bills – who kindly upgraded for Paul’s birthday and whilst the hot tub was out of action we were happy to make do with the huge bath (luxury in South America). We sought out the Tree House restaurant as a treat for dinner, hidden away up a random staircase and away from the tourist set menus. It was a hefty price but a lovely experience. Poncy food, the alpaca was beautiful, Pisco sours yum and they even sang Happy Birthday 🙂
Next morning, we were ready to leave Aguas Calientes – slight problem was that none of the cash machines were working so we were unable to pay our bill at the hotel. The card machines were also down throughout. Time was ticking on, we had a train booked and pre-arranged accommodation with minutes to spare we managed a PayPal cash transfer and ran for our train to Ollantaytambo and taxi onwards to Cusco. We had a treat stay planned at Amaru I Hostal for the next 2 nights in a beautiful duplex room with views across the rooftops and valley. The remainder of our time in Cusco was spent stuffing our faces and generally lazing around in preparation for our next 20 hour bus journey up to Lima.
Here is a gallery of pictures from our compact camera – click on the images below: