Machu Picchu was incredible! We are having some difficulities with downloading all of our pictures, but they will be in the next post of our pictures.
We were fortunate enough to set this all up with the travel agent provided at our hostel. They have connections to the bus, train, and hostel we stayed at for our 2 day, 1 night adventure. We took the bus (a 1.5 hour ride from our hostel), to the train station (1.5 hour ride to Machu Picchu), and everything went very smoothly. Upon our arrival to Machu Picchu, it was very overwhelming as it was just about opening hours so there were tour guides, and tourists galore. Within the group we came with, we managed to split into an english or spanish speaking tour guide. While I´d like to think our spanish is improving, we chose the english guide. Our group was about 15 people, and it was great meeting people from all over the world - New York, Turkey, Brazil, England, and Japan to name a few. It is hard to write about just how much we learned in our 2 hour tour - and that wasn´t even covering the entire thing! We couldn´t believe we were actually in Machu Picchu. The Inkan people really had it down... the way they built their houses to avoid earthquakes, the way they grew their crops and food based on the winer and summer solstice, and we even learned that a commercial was filmed there in 2000 and the company accidentally chipped off 1\8 of an inch of the sacred ruins, and they are all in jail now! Don´t mess with Machu Picchu. Meanwhile, the queen of Spain landed via helicopter in the middle of the entire site, broke an oblisk... and was still queen! Pays to be royalty. Once our tour was over, we had free range to explore even more. We went on about a 30 min hike to the Inka Bridge (many ¨hotspots¨ were close) and it was yet another amazing site to see. The pictures will do a better job explaining just how HIGH up we were... we were stunned that the Inkan people did this on a daily basis! Also, the stairs they built going all around the ruins were pretty tough on two 6 foot tall people, how did little Inkan people walk them?!
It was sad to leave such a wonderful and historic site. We are so grateful we went! That night, we explored the many tourist shops with Machu Picchu items, hung out at a Peruvian fashion show in the middle of the town, and bonded with a Peruvian 3 year old at our hostel. David, who lived next door to our hostel with his mom, was a frequent visitor to the hostel and we had the pleasure of hanging out with him Saturday night. There were bean bags everywhere, Nate and I on one side, David on the other and he would run as fast as he could into the bean bag chairs, giggling and squealing the whole time. Nate would toss him in the air, David would hide behind Maddy then run into Nate again. Basically the most adorable bundle of joy we had been around in in awhile. Until he had his melt down. Within a matter of seconds he was screaming and crying for his mom. At this point, we had no idea where his mom was (let alone next door) or who she was, so we were calmly talking to him, and at this point he was grabbing attention of the rest of the hostel. Another visitor tried to talk to David, asking where his mom was, but could get nothing out of him. Meanwhile, Nate rushed upstairs to go get Angie, the receptionist who seemed to have a connection to the little boy. Angie came downstains, swooped up David, and brought him home. Crazy night to say the least.
The children fun continues. We took a 22 hour bus ride from Cusco to Lima, and there was a boy across the aisle from us, around age 12, who had a mission to annoy us anyway possible. Banging the seatbelt against the seat to make an annoying clatter, pretending his arm rest was a gun and making the shooting noise randomly (very comforting), and insisting that his legs were a drum set. This entire time, his parents were passed out behind him. Cool. We´have never been so excited to get off a bus. We then had the most expensive cab ride thus far to get to our hostel - 20 soles (roughly $6-7) and most cab rides we have had haven´t cost more than 10 soles (about $3). Needless to say we have had a relaxing time in our hostel, exploring Lima which included a walk down to the beach.
Tomorrow we off to Moncora, Peru. It is a beach town in northern Peru and we will be there for about a week. Surfing, hiking, and all around beach fun will most likely happen! Looking forward to it.
Miss and love you all!
Maddy and Nate