Machu Picchu (day 3)

I rose at 5:45 to be at the gate when the park opened at 6. Sunrise had not yet cleared the surrounding mountains. The objective was to catch the ancient city as dawn hit. It was amazing. A magical place we will never forget.

This is the site before first sun. Even at this hour you can see how it sets apart from the rest of the area.

Here is when first light hits the ancient city.

After lunch we started back to Cusco. Machu Picchu Pueblo is accessible only via train. We took the Vistadome train back towards Cusco. It made better time on the uneven narrow gauge tracks than the Hiram Bingham had. Nice sights as we wended though the Sacred Valley of the Incas. About halfway back to Cusco, the highway started so we switched to a bus. We climbed through a pass over 12,000 ft through the highlands towards Cusco. Several of us remarked how much the Andes and highlands in this area remind us of the Rockies in Wyoming. The distant snowy peak is over 18.000 feet!

Our day ended with dinner at a restaurant that served traditional Peruvian fare. Nom, nom. Mary’s lamb shank was the best we have ever had. No one was adventuresome enough to try the Guinea pig stew. We were told it tastes like rabbit (which didn’t help a lot).

Tomorrow: Cusco to Lima to Quito

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