Macchu Picchu – Last Stop on Adventure Tour:
Travel Journal 2016-17 Term 4
We woke up at 4:30am to a nutritious breakfast in our Aguas Calientes hotel. Departing at 5:30am, some of us began our hike and others walked through the city toward the bus stop. Those of us taking the bus lined up with other adventurous tourists under the dark skies of the early morning. One by one we nestled into our bus seats and drove up to the top of Machu Picchu. We gazed out the windows as the sun rose over the stunning mountains, warming the friendly hikers on the trail, and overpowering the lights from the city below.
The rest of us began our 45-60 minute climb from the base of Machu Picchu. We were strong, we were excited, and our quads were on fire from the steep incline of what seemed like never-ending steps. We panted and we sweat as we climbed stair after stair, stopping here and there for water breaks and picturesque views. The feeling of reaching the top is pretty incredible, I must say. The students describe is as…well…”indescribable.”
The whole venture was such an accomplishment. We are all so very proud of our amazing students for committing to the drive or walk up this majestic mountain. And majestic it was, as the sight of Machu Picchu up close, before our very own eyes, was even more stunning than we could have ever imagined.
Our wonderful guide Luis led us through the ruins as he knowledgeably spoke to us about the Incan citadel. As we passed through the main gate and walked along the terraces to the old houses and temples, we were inspired by the intricacies and construction of the 15th century wonder.
After our tour we had time to ourselves. Some explored the grounds while others relaxed and meditated. Whichever way we wanted to spend time in this fairy-tale environment was up to us. When it was time to leave, students chose to either bus or walk down the mountain – both a quick 30-minute route.
We had the rest of the day to explore the city of Aguas Calientes. Back to the markets we went as we purchased souvenirs and rested for some snacks and coffee. We had an early dinner with Luis and headed back to Cusco on the Inca Rail in the evening. Arriving back to our lovely ‘home’ of Cusco around 10pm, we checked back into Hotel Ruinas and went straight to bed! The students are enjoying a lovely little sleep in this morning as we pushed classes to an 11am start time.
What a week. What a FABULOUS week! Now we begin the countdown of our remaining nine days. We have final projects, exams to study for, and some final moments in Cusco to take in all of the unique culture before coming home sweet home.
We will see you very soon.