It’s finally the day we get to see Machu Picchu (Mar. 27, 2015). When we arose this morning, the Andes were capped in clouds which added a whole mystical element to our journey. It’s about a two hour train ride from Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu, but we stopped first in the old town of Ollantaytambo to visit a local family who has lived in the town for centuries in their home which was originally built by the Incans. We talked with our hostess about traditional life and watched her cooking while her guinea pigs ran around under foot.
Shortly thereafter, we left for the train station to ride the beautiful Peru Rail trains to the station at Aguas Calientes, where you board the bus to ride up to the entrance of the national park. We got to ride in one of those rail cars that has glass panels in the ceiling and picture windows so we could see our whole ascent up the valley, with the Urubamba river running alongside . The rail cars were lovely, as you might expect from the company that owns the Orient Express.
The bus let us off in front of our hotel, the Belmond Sanctuary, which is the only hotel right on the grounds of the national park. The entrance to the park is literally about 100 steps from the entrance of the hotel. After we eat lunch, the clouds are clearing and we are ready for our assault on Machu Picchu. words can’t describe this experience, so I hope the pictures tell a fraction of the drama and majesty.
After such a big day, we had a fabulous dinner at the hotel and hit the sack!. Will we or won’t we hike to the Sun Gate tomorrow morning to capture the sunrise? Let’s see …