Morgan Goes to Peru: Part Three
Today we left our hostel and made our way to Aguas Calientes, the closest town to Machu Picchu. We started off with a zip lining excursion. I had never been zip lining before and honestly thought I would be terrified of the heights, but I totally loved it!!! Would 10/10 recommend to anyone and everyone.
The rest of the day was spent walking. Yes, walking. Not hiking. We walked along a railroad track for six miles. I don’t wanna say it was boring because the railroad was still functioning and it was neat to be that close to a train, but let’s just say compared to day two it was a struggle to make it to the end. I don’t think me and my feet have ever been so happy to see a town before.
When we got to Aguas Calientes, Chandler started not feeling very well. Hindsight is 20/20 y’all because this is what she did (*see below*) every time we saw a puppy and there wasn’t any water/soap along the trail to wash our hands after playing with said puppies. But worth it? Yes. Puppies are always worth it. I mean look how cute!!!
Aguas Calientes is one of the coolest little towns because 1) it has a rushing river that cuts straight through the middle of town and talk about soothing and 2) it is filled with nothing but people wanting to reach Machu Picchu. There were people from all over the world just soaking in the goodness that would lead us to one of the new seven wonders of the world. It was freaking magical.
TODAY IS THE DAY. We woke up at 3am and made it to the bus station by 4am to catch our bus to the top. Our other option was to hike to the top where Machu Picchu was, but #letsbereal… we were freaking exhausted and going uphill for 2.5 hours did NOT sound appealing. So we spent our $12 USD and rode a bus.
And when we finally made, I couldn’t believe it. It was so much more magical (and bigger!) than I ever expected. Walking around and realizing that people actually lived there. In between these beautiful mountain ranges. AND WITH LLAMAS. Y’all, it was incredible.
The weekend we went was actually the beginning of a new Peruvian law. I’m about to #getnerdy for a minute so bear with me. You’re especially going to want to read this if you plan on visiting in the future! This new law limits the number of times you can enter Machu Picchu to ONE. One time. And while you are there, you have to be with a tour guide and you only get 2 hours to explore. This in-and-of itself made me so sad that people wouldn’t get to fully take in this amazing place but here’s why it’s a problem…
PROBLEM ONE: Once you enter Machu Picchu, there is a strict path of where to enter, you can wander freely in the village, but there is a strict path out. And they DO NOT let you turn around. When we went, they were still trying to figure out to enforce these rules, so we had to go in and exit with our tour guide but then we were allowed to go in by ourselves one more time.
PROBLEM TWO: When you enter Machu Picchu, there are actually two additional hikes that you can complete. Want to know how long the hikes take? About an hour and a half. Which would leave you with 30 minutes to look at Machu Picchu. Or if you think like me, spend 1.5 hours touring Machu Picchu and THEN begin your hike because it’s not like they’re gonna come find you and pull you off the mountain when you are even further up hiking ;)
Regardless, it’s a super crappy rule and I REALLY hope that it gets overturned. I think the part that made me most frustrated about it was the rule was created by the government in Lima, most of whom haven’t gotten to experience Machu Picchu and understand the importance of taking your time and absorbing all of the unique culture. It really is quite sad so I hope it changes back so all of you lovely people can experience it for yourself. If not for Machu Picchu, then DEFINITELY for the llamas. I mean how freaking cute is this picture?! Gah I’m so in love.
After spending as much time as we could with the llamas, we took the van back down the mountain and caught a train back to Cusco. Travel Tip: if you are doing a lot of physical activity/staying in hostels, make sure when you get back to the city that you have a nice hotel waiting for ya because you are going to love yourself for booking it ;) we “came home” to a marble bathroom and California king bed with full functioning WiFi, TV, and A/C. And it’s not that we are divas when we travel (trust me, we aren’t), but it was a much needed good night of sleep.
Today was the day we had blocked out to spend in Cusco before taking the plane back to Lima and eventually home. However, Chandler woke up in the middle of the night incredibly sick and ended up staying in bed all day. Which left me with a busy day of exploring! I love traveling with Chan, don’t get me wrong, but I also love spending time by myself getting lost in a city and just wandering up and down the cobblestone alleyways with a latte and my camera.
Going to coffee shops is always my go-to when I’m traveling without strict plans because they normally have WiFi, are a great place to people watch, or even meet someone who has suggestions on what to do! Here’s a few pictures from my time in Cusco…
I’m so excited to hear what y’all think about this trip and if you’d ever go on an adventure like this!