16th February:
I didn’t get them back. My good karma won’t let me. I had even got all my stuff ready the night before so all I had to do was grab my bag and go. I didn’t have a great nights sleep either. Whenever I have to be up early, I wake up every hour because I get so worried about oversleeping. And maybe I couldn’t sleep because I was too excited. I got up just before 4am, got ready and my bus came around 5am. I bundle into a Sprinter van and we do a couple more pick-ups before making our way to the train station, Ollantaytambo, which is around 2hrs away. Once there we get the train to Machu Picchu which is 1hr and 45mins. It’s a nice train. Until the French invade. I didn’t realise how much they annoy me. I shouldn’t tar them all with the same brush and I’m sorry. One of the women sounds like she doesn’t even know French though. Literally, as if she is making it up. “Errr je mapelle Eiffel Tower. Blue blee blue. Croissant”. I put my headphones in to block them all out. I may sound miserable but it’s now 7.20am.

Off we go on our train and the scenery (haven’t said that for a while), is gorgeous. The rocking motion of a train always makes me nod off and I get 30 winks. 30. Not 40. Once off the train we get a shuttle bus which will take 25mins to take us to the entrance of Machu Picchu. It’s all been quite long so far. I just want to get there and see it!!! I would love to have been able to hike it though. The Inka Trail sounds amazing. Maybe I’ll drag Sal back here for it. Actually, no. We’re going to Santorini and all I’m going to do is nothing. I might talk to her.

We meet our guide called Wilfredo. He was really lovely. He takes people around Machu Picchu twice a day! When we first started it was raining a bit but it soon cleared. There was me and three couples. (Gooseberry). One of the couples looked like they were having the worst time. They hardly spoke to each other and whenever the guide was talking, she was off taking selfies. Her face annoyed me. We start walking up some steps and round corners. I had some coco leaves which were given to me by the lovely couple I met in Huaraz. They said to chew them a bit and then keep them inside your cheeks so that you can benefit from them as you’re walking around. They certainly did something. I felt energetic. Or again, maybe it was the excitement. We walk up a few more steps and then there it is. I can’t even explain it properly. No words or photos do it justice. And to think, it wasn’t discovered until 1911. That’s not even that long ago. A chap called Hiram Bingham discovered it and it is believed to have been there since the 15th century. Wow! I’ve avoided learning about history ever since my teacher got an erection in one of the lessons, although I was somewhat in awe of his obvious passion for the subject, I kinda just stopped listening. But now I want to know more about this place. Has everywhere been found? What if I discover a new place? I could write a book like ol’ Hiram did. I don’t use this word much but it’s just breathtaking here. Every different angle is just amazing. There’s a part called The Temple of Sun and here there were three ‘Windows’ which were used to tell which time of the year it was. When the sun rose over a particular mountain it meant it was summer solstice. As the angle of the shadow changed, it meant the month was changing too. How clever is that!? I’m completely in love with this place. It’s so fascinating. I’m gonna read up on it some more. I want to stay here and not take that long trip back to Cusco.

My bus tomorrow morning is at 8am. A 6.5hr drive to Puno where I will see Lake Titicaca. I’ll stay there for one night before heading to Arequipa, before heading to Arica which is right at the top of Chile. The next couple weeks are going to be incredible.

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