The Next morning we woke early at 6 a.m. and started our way to one of the most mystical and famous places on the planet. Today Bethany was feeling a little better and was able to head on the journey to Machu Picchu. Although she was feeling better, I was really struggling. My stomach and intestines where cramping, making me double over in pain. Most of the day I was just struggling through, fighting the feeling that my guts where being shredded from the inside out.
The day started with a 3 hour mini bus ride up to the train that would slowly take us to the ancient city. Many travelers decided to walk the Inca Trail, one of the most famous hikes in the world. There are a variety of lengths one can do, anywhere from 3-9 days of trekking through the sacred valley and ending at Machu Picchu.
We took the easy way, a train running along the Urubamba River through steep canons along the rivers edge. The most memorable thing on the train for me was watching the foliage change from desert scrub brush, to bigger thatch then into cloud forest and finally, near the ancient city, the greenery turned into high altitude rain forest.
The train pulled into Machu Picchu Pueblo, the fake little town at the base of the mountain near the city. There are many places to stay here and restaurants and tourist stalls, but all in all, you want to get through this place and up the mountain as fast as possible.
Remember to buy your ticket into the site before you head up. Our guide book was off, and said we could buy the ticket at the entrance. The book was wrong. We got all the way up to the entrance to the site, a 30 minute bus ride up a switch back road, only to find out we needed to buy tickets in town. It was a big bummer.
Finally an hour later, and thanks to Bethany heading all the way back down, getting tickets, and coming all the way back up to meet us, we entered one of the new seven wonders of the world.
We decided to take a long walk out to a ridge line that flanks the city. The path leads to the sun gate, a small complex that overlooks the entire city. These Al Paca where on the path, and we had to walk between them. The Al Paca barely noticed we were there.
Other than feeling like my insides where going to explode, this day was magical. There is not much else to say about the city, other than, if you can, GO!