Posted by: travelrat | January 16, 2018

Up the Hill to Machu Picchu

Aguas Calientes 2

Machu Picchu: 17th February 2017

I just thought of another good reason not to walk the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. It stands at the top of a mountain. They say it’s the only place in Peru which wasn’t conquered by the Spanish. Could it be that they thought it was far too much trouble to slog up that hill, and they stayed at the bottom, revelling in the waters at Aguas Calientes … which, for those who haven’t worked it out yet, is Spanish for ‘hot water’.

If, however, you have walked from Ollantaytambo, and you gave it best there, and rode up the mountain on the frequent buses, would anyone say you haven’t done the Inca Trail ‘properly’?

I shall just deal with the arrangements for getting up there for now, and describe the site itself in greater detail later. The buses discharge their cargo just short of the site, where there is a car park and, of course, a restaurant and souvenir shop. There’s also a kiosk where you can, if you wish, get your passport stamped. I don’t like that sort of thing in my passport, but they were happy enough to stamp my notebook instead.

There are also the ‘essentials’ …  toilets and here, I came across a very strange thing. I paid my entrance fee to the dame pipi (or whatever the Spanish/Peruvian equivalent is) and she issued me with a receipt!

(It was later suggested to me that, as part of a massive anti-corruption crackdown, every sol must be accounted for)

I haven’t been able to confirm this suggestion, but I kept the receipt anyway. I’ve paid to use the head several times … but I think this is the first time I’ve ever been issued with a receipt from one.


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