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Magnificent Machu Picchu at last!
Most Magnificent Pair: Manu and Machu Picchu

A challenge for those with vertigoA challenge for those with vertigo (Cathy Bach)
Left on the 8am train for Machu Picchu. It was fun to take a motorcycle car station (a motorcycle with top and back seat) to the train station. Absolutely spectacular 1 and a half hour train ride, right next to a fast-flowing, huge river (Urubamba) with high peaks all around and lots were snow covered. Most gorgeous train ride of our lives! Left luggage at our hotel in Aguas Calientes and took the bus to Machu Picchu --- 20 minutes of a zig-zag road up 1,700 feet! Even though you've seen so many pictures of Machu Picchu, words cannot describe what it is like when you have your first view of the sites and Huayna Picchu mountain! It is awe-inspiring, spiritual, the most magnificent site I've ever seen. I was mesmerized by the mountains - how steep, how green, how jagged, how utterly impressive.

Ayul was a great guide! He kept avoiding the huge groups of people, which there were tons of! We saw everything at the site (some in the morning, then had lunch, then the rest). Exhausted at 3:30, but I did the optional hike to the Inca Drawbridge, while Brian waited for us at the Hut of the Gatekeeper of the Rising Sun. The Inca Drawbridge was very impressive, and I've never seen such steep mountains, and cliff-hanging walks ever before.

By 5:30 we were having a cold beer, then a Pisco Sour (delicious). The free dinner at the hotel was OK and easy. The highlights of Machu Picchu were: the condor, the shadow stones, the Temple of the Sun, the Temple with 3 Windows, the stone walls with unusually-shaped stones, the terraces, and as Brian says 'EVERYTHING!'

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