Friday, August 16, 2013

Ollyantaytambo and Machu Picchu

Our first stop on our way to Machu Picchu was at Ollyantaytambo, famous as the only place ever to have successfully resisted attacks from the Spanish. As we pulled in to the parking lot, our guide pointed out an original Inca street still in use today:

It's an impressive sight, and Jack scrambled up and down, over and around the stone terraces and walls... He was heady with excitement! (I almost think he liked Ollyantaytambo better than Machu Picchu because he had so much more freedom to explore there...)

Once we got (by train) to Agua Calientes, the "gateway to Machu Picchu," we had to take a public bus on a hairpin-turned road for half an hour to reach the actual site of the ruin. From the window we could see people starting out on the Inca trail (a trek of four days, and requiring a doctor's clearance) to reach the ruin from above. It's a pretty amazing site! Unfortunately, I've been sick (not with altitude sickness, but with Jack's cold) and hadn't really slept for the two preceding nights, so I turned back after climbing about halfway up. Jack, of course, was still going strong, so hooked up with another family to complete the climb.

He returned to the hotel so happy! He burst through the door of our casita and said, "okay, so when do we leave on our next activity?!" He doesn't want to miss a thing!

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