My alarm rang at 4:30am. The bus would be leaving at 5:35 sharp. Today was our day to visit one of the New 7 Wonders Of the World. Major recent land slides have temporarily closed the railroad from Cusco to a city toward Machu Picchu. We had to ride buses for 2 hours to catch the train. When I was here 3 years, a highlight for me was the ride along the Urubamba river in a Vista-dome railroad car. Even though today’s ride was shorter, it was wonderfully scenic. Since this is the rainy season, the river was a brown torrent.
We finally made it up the switchback road, arriving at Machu Picchu around noon. Our tour guide led us on the route that my parents, Larry, and I had climbed 3 years ago. In retrospect, I’m so proud of my folks, who were then 76, and Larry, who was then dealing with heart issues, for completing this trek. With an altitude of 8K ft and rugged, rocky, unprotected areas in which to climb, it is not for the faint of heart or body.
I posed for an updated version of the picture that decorates the cover of my net book. The architectural details and stone work amazed me as much as they had in 2008. It’s hard to imagine such a sophisticated civilization in South America in the 1400s. Well worth my return trip.
Last year, 2000 people were stranded in Aguas Calientes, at the base of Machu Picchu, when floods took out a critical bridge. I wondered if this CAT was working to prevent a recurrence of such and event. I also wondered how they would get that big machine out of the river.
17-Feb Cusco – Machu Picchu – Cusco via bus, bus, train, bus, bus, train, bus, bus, bus
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