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South America 2016: Day 08 (Peru 08): Nov 29

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Really good breakfast at the Panorama B&B. Taking the morning 6am bus to Machu Picchu. 

Time for our 7am trek up Machu Picchu mountain, the first group. Whee. Gayaanan decided to stay back and explore the ruins and find a place to nap. Everyone to meet up at 11:30.

Signed in as #14, but as the easier of the two mountains… This one was steps all the way. All the damn way up. We (Karen, Chi and I) took our time and took many breaks. Our legs still in pain from the Inca Trail. It was cloudy all the way up until Karen, Chi, and I finally made it up. Clear 🙂 it got really sunny too… I got burnt on my shoulders and chest. Ow. 

Up at the top, we took a bunch of group photos and then I try to covertly help Chi with some secret plans. As Ronan, Sofie, and Rosanna start to head down, I stop Rosanna and ask her to stay. Reluctantly and begrudgingly, she does. I still haven’t told her why. Chi makes some hand signals, which I apparently misinterpret and then I catch up to Ronan and Sofie to stay for a bit as well. They caught on instantly, and that’s when Rosanna did as well. Karen is clueless. We take some more group pictures, hang around, until Chi shoos us away, except Rosanna. Down we go. 

Downhill is much easier, but the narrow trails don’t get any wider. And by this time, there are people coming up as well. Definitely kills the momentum coming up if you have to step aside for someone coming down. As we get down, we decide to visit the Inca Bridge, and by that time, Rosanna caught up. The plan was a success! 

We took some steps down and across to Inca Bridge, I start hopping up the stairs for no reason and then I hear Karen and Chi. I peek up, Chi sees me. I wait at the corner and surprise Karen. CONGRATS! *hug*. They took a shortcut and got there so quickly. 

Apparently Inca Bridge wasn’t worth it, so we took some pictures and tried to feed a Llama some apple. The Ranger said no. The proposal story told over and over, but that’s not mine to tell. 

We casually walk around and then it’s time to leave to meet up with Gayaanan. Banõ and bus down. Sofie and Ronan went on ahead. 

Quick lunch at a restaurant by the Central plaza, grab our stuff from the hotel, and head to the train station. 

PeruRail, VistaDome. Fancy train, spacious, drinks, snack, comfy chairs for an hour back to Ollantaytambo for another 2 hour shuttle ride to Cusco. The only bad thing about PeruRail? It’s privately owned. It’s not Peruvian. The porters for the Inca Trail are only allowed to board the earliest 4am train while the rest are for tourists. If they miss this train, they would need to wait for another day or walk along the train tracks to their destination. 

We arrive at Ollantaytambo and get through a barrage of taxi drivers to our Alpaca Expeditions shuttle. Karen, Chi, and Rosanna were dropped at the airport where they will hit up Lima and Panama. Ronan and Sofie dropped off at their 5-star hotel for a couple more days in Peru. Patrick, Gayaanan, and I dropped off at our hotel as we continue our trip in Peru and to Bolivia. We were dropped off and led to the wrong hotel -_-… But luckily the correct one was 3 minutes away, down some stairs. Oh well.

We check-in, settle down, and get online to connect with Ronan to meet up for dinner. But only after our Rainbow Mountain trek briefing.

Our tour guide arrives after 7 and explains to us the plan. Young-looking guy, Noah. We ask our questions, get another duffle to pack, and go. 

We rush out to the ATM to grab some soles for the couple of days we have left in Peru, bumping into Sofie and Ronan on the way. When we find them again, the restaurant they chose was closed, so we walk for 5 more minutes to another Peruvian Kitchen that they’ve been to before, Morena. 

The food is good, the fruit smoothies are really good. Great time hearing about their life stories and sharing details about our lives. Wonderful people.

Say our goodbyes, safe travels, and we part ways. Rainbow Mountain 2d1n.

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