on May 16, 2010
The train going to Machu Picchu left promptly at 8am from Agua Caliente for the 1 1/2 ride. From everything I had read about limiting the number of visitors and such, getting some kind of package tour was recommended. While the scenery on the train was beautiful, I wouldn't rate it as highly as many magazines. Of course, I'm a huge fan of water and waterfalls with the lush greenery. Arriving at the MP station, we boarded a small van that quickly, almost too quickly, maneuvered a zigzags scarcely 2-lane road up to the entrance of MP. Here, at the entrance is the last chance for restrooms and food. Food isn't allowed inside and packs are checked. Mary Lou, our guide explained how part of the trail was destroyed on purpose when the Spanish invaded in order to save MP. The Spanish stayed on and so MP was forgotten until is unearthed some 300 years ago. The people that resided here were the higher ups and those in favor with them. This was not a city for commoners. After the guided tour, we had 2 hours on our own which was just enough time to climb Wyanapicchu, stay for the permitted 10 minutes at the top and return. The view from this point is incredible and definitely worth it. This is the best way to appreciate MP, the terrain surrounding it and how materials for construction must have been transported. The pilgrimage from Sacred Valley when the trail was intact took people 2 weeks. I couldn't have made it in 2 months. The number of climbers on Waynapicchu is limited to the first 200. Either go early or get a number.
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