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Machu Pichu
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So standing in line in the cold at 4am with no breakfast sucks. Slightly bleary-eyed, we managed to make the first 400 (we were entries number 71 and 72) so we were able to climb Huaynupichu, this is a mountain that overlooks Machu Pichu.

V had been talking to a Spanish girl in the queue for the bus who had told her that today was one of the most special days of the year to visit MP because today, and only today, does the sun shine through the ‘Sun Temple’ due to it’s positioning in the sky at sunrise. This was a very important day for the Incas apparently, as well as a few weird, vegetarian-looking foreigners performing some kind of yoga-style ritual, worshipping the Sun God. The dense cloud cover made their ridiculous performance even more enjoyable to watch.

We had a walk about, taking photos and noting that there was an abundance of strange people here. Then we headed over to Huaynupicchu and started hiking up. The walk up consisted of steep, rocky steps winding around the mountain. This would have been quite alright with V, however the narrowness and sheer cliff bothered her somewhat. Yet again, it wouldn’t be a hike if she didn’t cry. To give her some credit it was pretty hairy and there were many people walking up in a similar fashion. I’m not sure they all scraped away the first 5 layers of skin from their hands as much as V though. She literally scaled her way along the rocks, through teary eyes and the occasional whimper.

Going down was a whole other story. V actually managed to keep herself from becoming hysterical by J delivering rewards of snacks everytime she walked along a scary bit. The Dutch guy (who was pooing himself as much as V) was much more entertaining to watch on the way down. He shuffled down many of the steeper steps on his bum in a Golom-style crawl.

At the bottom J decided to climb the other hill, leaving V at the bottom, feeling proud of herself but definitely not ready for another challenge. Afterwards, we did a quick rounds of the other ruins and went back to the train station to see if there was any spaces on the earlier trains, which there wasn’t. So to pass the time we walked to the thermal spa up the road. This was an error as the pools were so filthy they actually smelt like wee, with several dead bugs and other unidentified floating objects. When an ancient Peruvian man got in next to us and starting sliding down under the water, lacking the strength to pull himself back up, we decided it was time to leave. If he can’t hold himself upright he probably can’t keep his bladder under control.

A long journey back to Cusco, arriving back around 2am, waking up the old man at our hostel.

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