We would take the Visdom train from Urubamba to Machu Picchu today.
We waited at the hotel lobby anxiously. I pretended to enjoy the outdoor scenery and the art at the lobby casually, but my heart was actually pounding so fast. I thought I’d pass out at any minute. The excitement was utterly unbearable. At around 6:30 AM, we were taken to the train station which was right at the Tambo del Inka Resort. It was a very short 5 minute walk, but it seemed so much longer though. When we arrived at the train station, the train was already there waiting for us.
It took about 2 1/2 hours to get to the Machu Picchu station, Aguas Calientes.
We met our guide, Jhon, at the train station. He took us to the bus stop where we would take the bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu. The bus ride took about 15 to 20 minutes. The road was not paved. We were sitting at the far back of the bus so we did enjoy the extra bounces.
The bus stopped right in front of our hotel, Sanctuary Lodge by Orient Express. We checked in right away and left our luggage behind.
The hotel was right outside of the gate to the park of Machu Picchu.
After a short walk, Wayna Picchu – the young mountain – was in view. Machu Picchu is the old (ancient) mountain. The view was breathtaking. All the excitement and anticipation built up during the past few days could not even describe the joy and excitement I was feeling at the moment. Jhon told us that we were outside of the Machu Picchu city. The place where we stood was for the storage of the crops.
This was the main gate to the Machu Picchu city. Jhon showed us his book that historians believed there were doors at the gate to protect the people who lived in the city.
The little ‘P’ shaped area was the Temple of the Sun where the Incas put their offerings, mainly the crops, for the gods.
This is the Sun Dial. The Incas used it to tell the seasons.
The sun was really intense. I had to borrow some sun screen from Jhon because I could feel the back of my neck, my arms, and my face burning. I knew I had got a sunburn terribly and I would pay for it for the next few days, but it was totally worth it. And a great story to tell too. For all of the places in the world, I got a sunburn at Machu Picchu, and not at the beach.
After the Sun Dial, we returned to our room at the hotel to fresh up and had lunch buffet at Sanctuary Lodge as well. As you can see, the room is fairly small. It’s not anywhere close to the Orient Express standards. We are paying for it for the location only. We had a little terrace and a lounge chair. Wayna Picchu was right in view.
After lunch, we returned to the Machu Picchu city.
This is the Temple of the Condor. On the ground was the head and neck feathers of the condor, and its wings stood behind completing this amazing 3-D condor.
We could see the dark clouds approaching in the afternoon but we continued to explore the sites. We thought a down pour was coming, but it turned out to be just little drizzles. We were lucky enough to see two rainbows. I have never seen two rainbows right on top of each other. This was amazing.
At this time, about 5 PM, the city was pretty much deserted. I felt so attached to the city that it was very difficult for me to leave for the day. But we would have a full day tomorrow and we’d return bright early in the morning to see the sun rise. Good night, Machu Picchu.