Peru – day five

Highlights: Visiting Machu Picchu, hiking Wayna Picchu, eating alpaca meat

Pictures taken: 378

Travel: 30 minute bus ride to and from Machu Picchu

Favorite photo of the day:
Alpaca at Machu Picchu

I had a wake-up call at 7 and tried to ask for another at 7:20 but must have been misunderstood. I woke at 7:50 and dressed quickly while I dodged downstairs for breakfast. They had orange juice, bananas, oranges, and a flat bread with butter and jams. I ate a couple of bananas, drank some juice and got ready for my first chore.

First I went to the train station and modified my ticket. The one I had was returning me to Ollanta and I decided to take the train clear to Cusco instead. That cost me an additional $17 and I leave an hour earlier – the last train to Cusco from Aguas Calientes. I won’t arrive in time to track down a braso sapo though.

I then bought my entry ticket for Machu Picchu and then went and bought a bus ticket to get up and back. The bus ticket was $14 dollars and the entry to the park was 124 soles (a bit over $40). I hopped on the bus and when it was nearly filled we started the drive to the park and up the narrow switchbacks.

It was probably close to 9:00 by the time I was on the bus. I skirted by the groups of tourists (i’m not using that word in a condescending way – I know i’m a tourist too.) and their guides and followed the suggested route in my guidebook and the map that they gave with the entry ticket. There’s no way that I can blog about the history of the site – there’s just too much to write. I did opt to climb the peak behind Machu Picchu (as seen in the first photos below) but here are some of my favorite pictures that I took of the main ruins.

Machu Picchu

Zieak overlooking Machu Picchu

Zieak at Machu Picchu


Agricultural terraces



Grazing alpaca

Me at Machu Picchu


Inca construction

Alpaca and ruins

I stood in line for about a half hour and got into the limited access Wayna Picchu where they only let 400 people in at a time. It is the peak that is usually behind Machu Picchu in most photographs. I met an Australian named Alex in the line and we hiked up together. It took about 50 minutes – we started at 11:00. At the summit I met her traveling companions – two Canadians and one Englishman. We spent a while at the top and then hiked down together. At the ruins we split ways but made plans to meet up for dinner.

The line for and summit of Wayna Picchu.

Hiking up

The road to Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu from Wayna Picchu

Alex and i

Wayna Picchu altitude

Me on Wayna Picchu with Machu Picchu behind

Hummingbird and Machu Picchu

hiking down

Narrow steps!

I wandered the other half of the ruins for another few hours (but I included those photos above). Then I took the bus back down.

I showered – the hike made me awfully sweaty despite the cool temperatures and rain. It was kind of like a summer day in Petersburg up there. Then I had a snack of sangria and papas fritas. Our dinner plans were for 9 PM and I only had a light breakfast.

Papas fritas

I got a bit of sun despite the rain and cool weather.


I went to the hot springs again but was very careful to not touch my face after my hands had been in the water. I avoided any splashing children too.

Aguas Caliente hot springs

At 9 I met the group from the rest of the English speaking world and we had a bottle of wine. I ordered the alpaca and it was delicious. It was cooked on an open wood-fired grill in the middle of the restaurant.

Alpaca on the grill

The alpace presentation


zieak (2207 Posts)

Ryan "Zieak" McFarland dabbles. Beards. Making things. Travel. Genealogy. Frugality and excessiveness. Fitness and fatness. He's a PE teacher in India, usually calls Alaska home and is a happy father to two boys and the husband to a suddenly crafty wife.

5 thoughts on “Peru – day five”

  1. I loved seeing Machu Picchu from Wayna Picchu… I’ve only seen it from the “popular” side before.

    What was your overall impression? I worry that if I make it to Machu Picchu I will be disappointed… there is a lot of expectations to go with all that travel. However, I’ll say that I was not at all disappointed with Pompeii in Italy.

    BTW, I hate your Captchas. If you got rid of them you’d really have too much blog spam?

  2. Toph – i’ll try disabling the captchas and see.

    It wasn’t disappointing – even with the number of people there i was able to have my own time in some places. I am almost certain that i’ll be back – hike the trail in and then visit it some more.

  3. I’ll chime in here, too, and add how much we’re enjoying your write-ups – it’s the next best thing to being there with you! Besides, as your mother, it lets me know that you are safe…sorry you didn’t get to connect with Gloria – I didn’t realize it was a postal box address!

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