Today was a bitter sweet day... after 12 days in Peru where we have been on the beach, in the mountains and a little bit in the jungle, our time here has ended. We have been able to go back in time with the Incas and learn about their history and culture, we have met incredible people, tasted delicious food and listened to the Andenian music.
Our time here helped us not only to improve our Spanish but to helped us immerse ourselves in a new culture full of colors and contrasts.
Today after having time in Cusco where we said good but to the city we had a some a sort of debate about the positive and the negative impact of tourism in a country where a huge part of its economy is the amount of tourism throughout the year. By doing this we got to the conclusion that a good traveler is a person that can immerse themselves in a culture without changing it. We just need to respect it and learn from it and we have now know how to do that.
Now on our way home we realize that there is so much to do and to learn in this world and that is why we come with new energy and ready to tell our friends and family about this life changing experience.
We started our day at 4:30 this morning. Breakfast was the usual fruit, bread, and eggs, but everyone ate a little hardier than the previous days in preparation for a long day. At 5:30 we headed off to take the bus to Macchu Picchu. The ride was absolutely stunning. As we rode through the mountains, many eyes were focused on the steep drop offs on the side of the one lane, two way road. While the height was daunting, the view was unlike any most of us had seen before. The tips of the mountains disappeared into the clouds, and as we drove higher and higher so did we.
Finally the roofs of a couple buildings indicated our arrival at the entrance to Macchu Picchu. Although it was rainy, their was a sort of calmness hovering in the air. We entered the archeological site and started our hike towards "La Puerta Del Sol" which is the iconic view point for the ancient Incan city. After an hour of hiking on the original Inca trails, we were a little disappointed to find the fog had not lifted and the view we had so been looking forward to was completely hidden by the dense air. Although the mood dropped, it quickly came back to life as we hiked to the main structures most commonly seen in photos and the sun began to blossom slowly from its hiding place amongst the clouds. We blew at the fog in the hopes it would leave and sure enough it began to rise up and move elsewhere. The view was stunning. As it got hotter and hotter, many people shed their jackets and applied sunscreen.
After acclimating to the late morning temperature, we started a tour of the city. Our guide, Javier, was an intense and bubbly person. Everywhere we went he had enough to say to last us the entire day. Unfortunately we only had the morning. It was a short, but beautifully full last adventure for the trip. Heading out the gate, we took the bus back down the mountain and got on a train back to Cuzco for our last night in the unparalleled country of Peru.
Aguas Calientes has been fun. It is a small town with the railroad in the middle of it. We arrived around 1 pm and headed to our hotel to settle in. After that, we had lunch and then went to the hot springs in town. It was a nice time. Later on, we went back to our hotel. After dinner in a nice Peruvian Restaurant, we talked about the positive and the negative impacts of tourism in Peru. The food was great.
Now we are heading to sleep early. Tomorrow we go to Machu Pichu at 4:30 am. We want to see the sunrise from the top of Machu Pichu.