6 Weeks in Peru - Part 3
Sacred Valley / Machu Picchu
We left our hotel at 9am and caught a taxi from Cusco to Ollantaytambo through the Sacred Valley, with beautiful views on the way and arrived at lunchtime.
Had some amazing food served on a lump of rock shaped like a skull and another dish served on a big hand, very cool.
Had a late dinner and too much wine. Had an early start for the Inca walk the next morning. Lorraine was sick through the night.
We should have stayed on the train to Aguas Calientes and not started the walk. Lorraine only made it about a 0.5 km before we turned around. We had a great guide and we walked back towards the rail line where he organised the train to pick us up and take us to Aguas Calientes for the night. She was very tired and dehydrated and needed to drink lots of water and Powerade to be ok for the next day at Machu Picchu for a 2.5 hr tour then back to Aguas Calientes for lunch and the train back to Ollantaytambo and a private bus drive back to Cusco.
We left the hotel at 8am and walked to the bus for the trip up to Machu Picchu, which took about 20min. Machu Picchu deserves its listing as one of the 7 wonders of the world.
The Inca culture were very clever as they took the best from other cultures and incorporated them into theirs and did not have slavery. The Inca’s paid taxes in the form of food or labour to support the system.
It is said that the Inca king could have fresh fish from the ocean in 24 hrs, through a system of couriers running 30km each to the capital Cusco. It takes about 11 hours from Lima on a bus or car nowadays. They were very organised with paths fanning out from Cusco.
We were told by our guide that before they built Machu Picchu, they sent in the geologists to check the rock layers to ensure it was possible. Then the astronomers were consulted to make sure it could be built to align with the sun at the right time of the year.
We spent about 3hrs, with several hundred people at the site, mainly groups. Before Covid there were about 7,000 a day, now it is about 4 ,000 a day.
They have brought in changes to help with the congestion, but they need to do more to improve the experience. It is US$80 pp which is a lot of money for the Peruvians.
The government is building a new international airport in Cusco, so more international’s tourists will find it easier to go to Machu Picchu. They will have to improve their system to cater for the coming explosion in tourist numbers. Another example of the corrupt government. There is election coming up, so hopefully things change because it is really holding back the country.