Peru: Part II

The second portion of our trip to Peru started with an early morning train ride from the Sacred Valley to the mountain town just below Machu Picchu!

After settling into our hotel, we had the afternoon to explore our surroundings and check out the landscape.
Some of us also took the opportunity to browse the local market.  The guy who ran this music stand was incredible at playing the various instruments.

Before sunrise the next morning, we all boarded a bus for the 20 minute ride up the mountain to catch Machu Picchu as the sun rose above it.  Words can’t really explain how amazing and overwhelming this initial view is.

After taking in our surroundings, four of us headed over to climb Wayna Picchu (the mountain that overlooks Machu Picchu).  It’s an incredible climb!

It ends with a crazy view of Machu Picchu from above.But the real challenge, in my opinion, is the initial climb down; check out these steep, narrow stairs!Once we made it back down to the base, we all met up again and took a tour of the ruins.  Honestly, there is so much to see, you could spend a fews days here.After a relaxing night back at the hotel, we headed back to the Sacred Valley.  This time our train ride came with a surprise.  About half way through, this guy started dancing up and down the aisles.  His debut was followed by a fashion show by the train attendants.  Yea, we thought this was strange too – in the most entertaining way!

Once off the train, we headed to an incredible, centuries-old hacienda for our daily pisco sour, a rousing round of this super fun coin toss game called sapo (or “toad”) and decadent lunch.The last night and day of our trip was spent in Cuzco, a beautiful Spanish-influenced city.  We took in a few more sites, finished up some shopping, and were lucky enough to catch some of the festivities leading up to the solstice celebration.On our way back to the states, six of us had the chance to spend a couple hours in Lima (Teddy and his girlfriend, Kelley, said goodbye and headed off for a few extra days in Buenos Aries!).  We hadn’t much prepared for what we wanted to see in Lima.  David pulled out the guide book and announced that Herman Melville once called Lima “the saddest city on earth”.  I’m sure we didn’t get a chance to find its charming parts so instead of say anything further or leaving you there, we’ll end with a final pic of the whole crew over Machu Picchu!

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