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Orchid Guided Tour at Machu Picchu Pueblo and Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu and the Galapagos for our 10th Anniversary

Terraces of Pisac-PeruTerraces of Pisac-Peru (Julie Bleau)
It rained all night and still we can hear the rain this morning. Ah well, that’s why all is green and lush around here. My husband and I put on our raincoats and head-up for breakfast. Buffet style and eggs to order as well. Delicious meal once more. After breakfast, we go back to our room to finish packing and to get ready for our orchid tour and visit of the premises at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. I knew that it’s not really the time for orchids, but it’s raining and the garden of the hotel is really big and nice. We wanted to enjoy the site a little bit before heading back to Machu Picchu for the rest of the day.

Little anecdote here…I am ready to wash my teeth and while walking towards the sink, I see a black spot on the towel that is on the floor. I am thinking what a big mosquito that is while approaching. Very quickly I realized that this mosquito is in fact a black spider of about 1-½ inches in diameter. I stepped back and pack my toothbrush and told my husband I would clean my teeth at the lobby. I did not want to kill the spider, nor walk by it and taking a chance to have it bite me. So I put on another towel, closed my bag, shook off my boots before putting them on. We left the room and the spider in there. We told the lady in the lobby about it while my husband was making fun of me…the nice attendant was so nice and took my side. She also told us that one morning after it rained all night, she found three spiders in her room. I was looking at her and told her that for now there was only one in our room and I was very happy to be in the lobby instead of the room.

Putting our bags in storage, and our rain gear on we are ready for our tour. We learned that on the premises of Inkaterra Machu Picchu Hotel, there are 162 bird’s species, 108 butterfly species, and 372 orchid species. We walked around like detectives looking not for clues, but for orchids. Some of you might think: “Well, they are easy to find and big enough!” I thought that too, but some species are so tiny that you need a magnifier to see all the details of the flower. While walking around, we say the Cock of the Rock, the national bird of Peru. This bird is very rare and hard to see. We were not only blessed by the rain, but by this bird’s short presence. Our guide showed us where the land slid during the last mudslides back in January 2010. We walked the same path the 3,000 people did to catch the helicopter to get out of there at that time. The hotel ground lost some 8 feet on the side of the river and the train tracks. The land is still very nice and filled with butterflies, birds, orchids, all sorts of trees and quietude.

Early afternoon we took the bus ride up to Machu Picchu…and checked-into the Sanctuary Lodge Hotel at the feet of the gate of Machu Picchu. We had a great view over the bus station and the mountains in the back. It did not matter where we could see from our room’s window; we were at one minute by foot of the entrance gate. You cannot get closer than that.

Entering Machu Picchu’s site for the second time was different. We knew the map of the place. We just relaxed and enjoyed the place by breathing deeply and exploring the two of us this great place. Lamas and alpacas were there in the agricultural zones, tourists taking pictures of them along with the landscape. We walked up to the Inca Bridge, and through the workers’ section. My husband had a close encounter with a lama who wanted to pass where he was standing. After taking a picture, my husband stepped on the side, and happy lama kept going on the path by my side.

Our dinner was included at the Lodge and we had reserved for 6:30 pm. We were the first one in, but soon the restaurant filled-up since the hotel was full capacity.

My husband enjoyed a green salad and an alpaca steak with potatoes and veggies. I enjoyed a salad as well and coffee fettuccini and veggies. Very special taste those pastas. I almost forgot about the homemade bread. The cheese bread was just so delicious (warm, crusty, tasty and yummy). We had an Inca group that came to play music for the guests in the restaurant. Very relaxing music mixed with flute, guitar, and drums. A night to remember: great dinner, by Machu Picchu sides.

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