Any one been to Machu Picchu?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Novaboy, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. Novaboy

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    My partner and I are planning trip to Peru and Machu Picchu in Sept. Have any of you been and done the 4 day hike (Inca trail). We are wondering how difficult it is. We are both reasonably fit. If have gone, when did you go and what was the weather like. Any other info you can provide would be appreciated. There is lots of info. on the net, but it's nice to hear from people who have actually experienced it.

    Novaboy
     
  2. whatireallywant

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    This is something I'm wanting to do, too! (Come on, decent paying job with paid vacation! :biggrin1:) I know I'll need to get into better physical shape to do this too, but right now I have other priorities (like finding that job...)

    I don't know how hard hiking the Inca Trail is. The trips to Machu Picchu I've seen for groups (this is how I'd go if I could go) have a hiking option and a non-hiking option for those who are not as physically fit. I'd want to do the hiking option though...

    Good luck, though! :smile:
     
  3. earllogjam

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    I've been there. It was in April I think and the weather was good one day and raining the next. You fly into Cuzco (where you pick up the Inca Trail) which is very high in altitude. It takes a while to get aclimated to the thin air. If I were hiking to the site I would stay in Cuzco a day or two to get used to the thin air. They have a great Sunday Market there as well as some nice Peruvian/Inca restaurants- mostly in the tourist hotels. I picked up a nice alpacha blanket at the marketplace for cheap. They may give you coca de matta which is the local cocaine leaf tea. Makes you forget your altitude sickness. Manchu Picchu is actually lower in altitude than Cuzco. I didn't hike to Manchu Picchu but took the only other way into the site - the train. The site is spectacular and so is the trip on the train. Pass on staying at the hotel next to the site as it is way touristy and the food sucks. Try staying in a hotel in Aguas Caliente which is the town below the site. I stayed in a nice bungalow cabin next to the river which was part of a tourist hotel. They also have public natural hot springs pools in Aguas Caliente which is very nice after a long day hiking the ruins and warming up on a chilly night. You can climb up to the top on the peak behind Manchu Picchu that overlooks all the ruins which is a great 45 minute climb but well worth the view. To get to the site from the valley below you just take a bus up switchbacking roads for about 10-20 minutes.

    Be real careful of the food and what you eat there. No raw vegetables, tap water, and try to avoid all kinds of meat as it spoils quickly. It's not the most sanitary place in the world. I got slight food poisoning from eating at a rather upscale restaurant in Cuzco that almost ruined the trip for me.

    If you want more information just PM me. Have a fun trip.
     
  4. D_Percival Puddleford Pukehorn

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    and also be careful of those Peruans because they're horny bastards!!
     
  5. dong20

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    Yes, although it was a long time ago - back when one could simply hop off the train and make one's own way. These days I believe one must be 'accompanied'. At the time there had been (allegedly) much Sendero activity so it was quiet - major bonus.

    It's hard work but very rewarding, some interesting things (villages, ruins) to see en route and friendly locals (they were then anyway) but watch out for 'dead woman's pass'. Phew!! It took me four days (three nights) to hike from KM88 but the view down from the Sun Gate at dawn on day four made the effort worth it. I have a picture I took, I'll post it tonight if I can find it if you like.

    There are some hot springs in the appropriately named town (Aguas Caliente) just a short walk up the railway line - I didn't go to them personally so that's a third party endorsement. The town is interesting, the main street is in fact the railway line - or was then!

    The train trip back to Cusco is an experience, let's hope your train doesn't derail like mine did. It added three hours to the trip and I got back amost too late for what was a desperately needed pizza at Briolo's. I wonder if it's still there.

    I believe the Kamikazee club is still there open (off Plaza De Armas), a well recommended watering hole with good retro sounds - if rather westernised. I have not been in South America for over three years, I miss it!
     
  6. Novaboy

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    Thanks for the info. I think we will do the hike as I think the others in our group will most likely want to do it. I'll have to start getting in better shape. I'll have to hit the stair climber.
     
  7. midlifebear

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    The hike is not as bad as some may fear. However, by all means take 24 or more hours to acclimatize yourself to the altitude so you do not succumb to pulmonary edema. I volunteered for the Ski Patrol at Alta, Ewtaw for years and it was just expected that every day some fools from sea-level in California would fly into SLC at 7:00 AM, rent a car and check into their rooms by 8:00 AM, slap on their skis and then around 10:30 and for a few hours afterwards become faint, develop nausea, chest pains, and quit breathing -- making a change in altitude from almost sea level to 8,000 feet within 4 or 5 hours is a great way to kill yourself. Stay in Cuzco for at least one day (better, stay there for two and begin the hike about 5:00 AM) then when you get to the ruins you'll have made it there before the first tourist train and have the unique experience of being a Machu Pichu almost completely alone. It's one of the most beautiful places on earth until the train tourists show up complaining about it being too cold, too humid, too hot, too not like their living rooms.

    Good luck.
     
  8. dong20

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    The more things change ... reminds me of a pair that pondered [out loud, unfortunately] if the restored 'thatching' on one of the buildings in the residential section was 'original'. I had to fight to not pee myself.

    If you have time or are able, try to climb Huayna Picchu, there is a small overhang at the summit where one can look down. It's spectacular and an easy climb. There was a fire there a few years back, so it may be off limits.
     
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