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Back from Machu Picchu

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Back from Machu Picchu

Postby balzaccom » Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:16 pm

OK--We are just back from an amazing trip. Here's the first report, on our website. But there will be more to come as we include daytrips around Cusco, and also some notes on some of the logistics and isues we faced on the trail.

if you haven't done this trip, I'd strong suggest that you add it to your wish list!

https://sites.google.com/site/backpackt ... chu-picchu
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check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/



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Re: Back from Machu Picchu

Postby maverick » Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:33 pm

Beautiful report Balzaccom, to an equally beautiful area.
Did the coca leaves help with the altitude?
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Re: Back from Machu Picchu

Postby balzaccom » Thu Apr 28, 2011 1:48 pm

Hi maverick

I tried the Coca tea...but frankly, I couldn't tell much effect at all. I did drink just about anything that anyone put in front of me, because I was worried about dehyrdrating at those altitudes. But the humidity was high enough that we didn't really have much trouble at all with dehydration--at least until the third day.

But I bet I consumed at least 20 cups of that tea of the ten days we were in the Andes...

Didn't try chewing the leaves. The leaves from the tea made my lips a bit numb...but that's about it.
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Re: Back from Machu Picchu

Postby sirlight » Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:17 pm

Great report, thanks for sharing. This brings back some memories for me.

Boy how things are expensive in the tourist areas! Paying 7 soles for a bottle of water? That's REALLY expensive for water. I remember paying 10 soles for 3 bottles of cold beer on a river boat on the Amazon a few years ago in Peru. The locals told me that was expensive. Beer is cheaper than water???? That is a country I could stand living in!

Glad you enjoyed the trip. I certainly think that it is a place that should be on everybody's life list.

Did you get a chance to climb Huayna and Wayna Picchu?
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Re: Back from Machu Picchu

Postby balzaccom » Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:16 am

Did not climb Huayna Picchu---they now regulate that to keep it from getting too crowded.

And yes, the water was expensive....but remember that they had to pack each bottle in on their backs. I didn't begrudge them this profit. It's no different than the price of gas at Crane Flat in Yosemite!

And for those who want more info or photos...

Here are the links to the two Picasa photo buckets. The first is of Machu Picchu, the second of the rest of our visit to Cusco and the Sacred Valley

https://picasaweb.google.com/balzaccom/MachuPicchu#

https://picasaweb.google.com/balzaccom/Peru2011#

And these two links are to our new webpages. The first is with additional details of our hike to Machu Picchu....and the second is a series of day hikes and visits to the area around Cusco.

https://sites.google.com/site/backpackt ... inca-trail

https://sites.google.com/site/backpackt ... cusco-peru

Have fun!
Balzaccom

check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
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Re: Back from Machu Picchu

Postby freestone » Sun May 01, 2011 6:46 am

Thank you for sharing your incredible journey. I have always been fascinated by Machu Picchu and your story did it perfect justice. I have high respect for the early explorers who found these places, especially after reading The Lost City of Z, the story of Percy Fawcett"s search for the fabled city in the Amazon.
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Re: Back from Machu Picchu

Postby balzaccom » Sun May 01, 2011 2:04 pm

And let's not forget that in most cases, the locals always know about these lost cities...they just don't know of their importance. There was a Peruvian family living at Machu Picchu for a couple of centuries before Hyram Bingham "found" it!
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Re: Back from Machu Picchu

Postby sirlight » Sun May 01, 2011 6:03 pm

balzaccom,

How much time did you get to explore the sacred valley? When I was in Peru a few years ago, I found the stone work in the sacred valley to be more impressive than at Machu Picchu. What was your impression of the sacred valley?
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Re: Back from Machu Picchu

Postby balzaccom » Sun May 01, 2011 7:25 pm

Loved it--although I don't think we can claim to have fully explored it in a few days. Peru is absolutely incredible with the number of archeological sites---and not all of them are Inca.

We loved Pisac and spent a day there. and also spent some time at Sachsayhuaman outside of Cusco...and Ollantaytambo. But we really want to go back and see more...

As for the stone work---the best of Machu Picchu is as good as anything we saw anywhere else...but lots of sites had that quality of work. The Intihuatana in Pisac was very comparable. And every area has its "upper class" ruins with beautiful stonework, and other areas that were just passable--although still standing after 500 years. I wonder what we have built in this country that will match it!

And once you get tired of Incas, you can head west and see the cultures of Nazca, Mochi, Caral...it's simply the greatest archeology of the Western Hemisphere, by far!
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