34 Photos

7 wonders at a 7 wonder

How can you summarize Cusco, Ollantaytambo, Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu? You can't! The 7 wonders of our trip:1-How'd they build the road to Machu Picchu (MP) and how do they keep them in great shape? They aren't paved and there are many switchbacks and many many buses each day.2-The bus schedule is flawless at MP. Little waiting and they are a marvel to watch as they pass and maintain order on the mountainside.3-Wild orchids jut out of the mountain. They are on road sides and at MP. They epitomize Peru. They can make hard things look simple.4-Some places living without reliable running and hot water at points throughout the day. That is harder than it sounds. 5-How'd they fit so many vendors in one place, so the vendors even step out to beg for business. Compreme. Non, muchos gracias senora.6-How'd the Incas know to layer the terraces with clay and gravel and dirt to avoid erosion and filter the water.7-How'd Peru and the Incas inspre me to be more Inca-like...To learn more Spanish, to master hard stuff, to do something I think I can't, to do the Inca trail or hike Huana Picchu.Do:-drink coca tea as soon as you arrive-do drink the \"syruppy\" coffee at breakfast, but you may need to mix half and half with hot water-learn some Incas...Pachacutec, Manco Inca...-stay near Plaza de Armas in Cusco-stay at the Inti Inn in Aguas Calientes if you wanna dance all night to the Chez Maggy's music next door-stay at El Sauce for a marvelous view of Ollantaytambo ruins and water systems-drink Cusquena. And Chiccha morado. And say yes to cuy.-learn that @ = alt 64 on a spanish keyboard-learn to say non, muchas gracias senora. Yo tengo sombrero or whatever you already have that they are selling. Be sincere and they will leave faster!-charge your camera battery so it doesn't die at MP. Really.Don't:-take a bath in the fountain at MP-take a bath in the hot bathes at ACalientes*growing theme?-plan on using the potty at MP-not inside anyway-eat an unpealed apple-drink with your already inebriated buide-where they traditional wool pullover while climbing Huana Pichhu or wear wedges.To be Peruvian is to understand that all types of people have to live together. They have meshed Spanish and Inca tradition and religion to become who they are today. The Incas believed in duality. Man and woman. Peace. Sun and moon. I wouls say thats about right. Peruvaians are kind, gentle people (well, except the pushy women on the streets selling!). We stand to learn a lot from them.I gaze sleepily out the window as our overnight flight is met with sunshine. I glance twice out the window as I think I see terraces. White puffy terraces and the shapes of Machu Picchu. I look for a shape of a condor and slightly make it out below the terraces. Am I too tired? I have been Incanized!

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Where we should have been in Pisac.  Note little girls.
Author
Miki Thomaston
We learned so much. What it means to be Peruvian. What a soles will buy you (a trip to the bathroom). What 3 soles will buy (an empanada). What 8 soles will buy (a sandwhich in an authentic …
Found my sheep in Cusco
Author
Miki Thomaston
We slept in, with the exception of a barge in from the security guy who thought we had left with the other parts of our group. We walk the Avenido el Sol again and Jo visits Ricurras bakery again. …
Narrow streets at hotel Cusco
Author
Miki Thomaston
We slept well. We rose earlier than we wanted because the kitchen was right below us. Load noises and great smells were below us. And, the sun was out with a vengeance. We enjoyed our Peruvian …
Sunday at the Cathedral in Plaza de Armas Cusco.
Author
Miki Thomaston
Jan was ill at breakfast. Mick stays home with her. Jo and I boarded the bus and headed to one of the 7 wonders. At 10am, I began my Huana Picchu hike. I started off fast and then slowed to take …
Day at the fields in Aguas Calientes.
Author
Miki Thomaston
We awoke early and had a quick breakfast. Our guide tells the story of Ollantay-the great general of Pachacutec (a great Inca leader). Ollantay had a great passion for Pach's daughter. He finally, …
Machu Picchu from Huana peak.  Mission accomplished.
Author
Miki Thomaston
We head to Pisac for our first stop after driving by "Sexy Woman" or Sacsayhuaman. We stop at a place to feed Llama, Vicanya, Guanaco, Alpaca. The small towns are piece mill and not …
Initial glimpse of total Machu Picchu. Just like my dreams.
Author
Miki Thomaston
We grab a quick breakfast of typical (yet interesting) Andean food. Almost as interesting as the egg/pickle sandwich I had on the plane. We arrive Cusco early morning. We are taken to our hotel …
Aguas Calientes boy I was cutting up with.  It was worth it!
Author
Miki Thomaston
We head to the airport and arrive 3 hours early. The new international terminal in ATL is wonderful. We arrive and are at the gate within 20 minutes. We get settled in our seats around 5pm. Our …

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