We departed Urumbumba for Ollyantatambo where we were to tranfer to a second vehicle to station number 82 were we were to take the train to Aguas Calientas. The floods in February caused massive damage to the railway tracks and road between Urumbumba and Station 82 evidence of this was seen along the way with erosion and several damaged railway tracks lying beside the river bed. It is amazing that they have been able to repair and replace the tracks in such a short period of time, but given that Machu Picchu is a tourist mecca and declared a UNESCO site in 1983, getting life back to normal for the people who live in Aguas Calentes was top priority. Machu Picchu is located 72 miles by railroad northwest of Cusco at an altitude of 2432 mtrs. This place is the highlight of everyone who visits Peru. Our visit began with a 30 minute bus trip on a switch back unsealed road from the main town of Aguas Calientes. On arrival we had our tickets checked and our passports stamped with a Machupichu stamp. We had the whole day to explore this fascinating site, we hiked to the Sun Gate and the Inca Bridge and in the afternoon we had a 3 hour guided tour of the site. I think we were the last ones to leave at around 6pm to catch our return bus to Aguas Calientes and our hotel for the night. An incredible day was had by all and our memories of this haunting place will last forever.
The following day we were on the train at 9am for our return to Ollyantatambo where our vehicle then took us to Cusco and our hotel for thr next 2 nights. Tomorrow will be a huge day as we have priority seats booked for the Inti Rami Festival at Saqsaywaman fortress.
Today the ceremony was represented on the stage of Saqsaywaman fortress with a written script. On the 24th June each year special stands are built for thr visitors that can reach about 100,000 on the day and I am sure there were 101,000 today. Local people walk from the city of Cuzco to watch the ceremony as it is a special privilege to witness this auspicious day. How fortunate are we!! This is my third visit to the Inti Rami Festival and it never ceases to amaze me. For the festival of the Sun, people made prior arrangements for the ceremony and when the Inca and his followers entered the temple, all the people toasted with chicha or a drink specially prepared for this ocassion. Here is a small piece out of the programe.
“Mighty sun! Our only father! Source of warmth! Fountain of happiness, I salute you with joy and I venerate you on this, your great day God of Day! Burning Sun! Now beloved people watching the festival of the Sun God. Now beloved people of the sacred city of Cusco, let us march together to Haukaypata to venerate the sun god and all the deities who protect us and then let us go up to the towers of Sacsayhuaman. There we will know the divine will of our great and almighty father, Let us go with hope and faith.”
What an incredible visit to Cusco, Sacred Valley, Machupichhu and the Inti Rami Fesitval.
Tomorrow we begin another chapter of our amazing journey through Peru to Posada Amazonas until tomorrow. Good night from Lyn
Filed under: Adventure travel