Brunyfire Abroad Again: Peru – Day 12.

Posted in Uncategorized on July 1, 2019 by brunyfire

Monday 15th April, 2019. Making sure we get in before the hoards of American teenagers who decimated dinner like a plague of locusts last night, our G Adventure group gets a comfortable start to the day. Our water bottles topped and we’re ready to set off again – from Urubamba back to Ollantaytambo to catch the train to our next destination, Aguas Calientes. Our guide Juri herds us through the heaving mass of tourists waiting at the station, destination Machu Picchu. FB735658-950D-40E6-92CF-7056C2DEF100The train ride is fabulous! With its over head windows showing us snow clad  mountains above us…….2BA4465E-A410-4DB3-B5E4-398916883A80…..with coffee and snacks and just observing our fellow passengers. It’s blatantly obvious who the guides are – shutting out the drone of the tourists and getting some shut eye whilst they can – they’ve done it all before. The track winds it’s way along the banks of the Urubamba River through the Sacred Valley of the Incas and is rightly considered one of the most beautiful short routes (2 hours) that exist. 74C691A1-1A4F-429F-9D64-91CE428E8F0EWe pass by more Incan tiers still in productive use, and the mountainside store houses in built of rock as cool rooms for the Incan corn and other produce. 719E7B5A-29E1-421A-AB41-4CA0661CD2FAHalf way, we off load those of our party who will be doing part of the Inca trail…..2CF8D3F5-3570-43AB-95AB-5CEC40FEE1F2……..specially poignant for Brunyfire as daughter Zoe did the full trail many years ago – it’s nice to feel a tremulous connection. We off load at Aguas Calientes and are immediately met by a porter from the hotel who heads off with our luggage to meet us at the hotel. Aguas Calientes is a car free town in the Urubamba River Valley, in southeast Peru. It’s known for its thermal baths and as a gateway to the nearby Inca ruins of Machu Picchu. Everything is brought up by porters – from food to building materials.D915002B-F985-416F-86C1-D23A271C7A6BCD75E997-BC2A-4322-811B-168EABC42919With an afternoon to spare, a few of our party decide to visit Machu Picchu before our official guided tour tomorrow – we’re keen to walk to the Sun Gate. Intipunki (Quechua inti sun, punku door) is the final section of the Incan Trail, and it would have been through this narrow pass that daughter Zoe would have come on her epic trail hike several years ago.182C37B2-A9ED-4E8E-9BD2-20ABA4378AFC(Top image – top of the Sun Gate pass; bottom left, Sun Gate from the bottom and image on bottom right, the road back down to Aguas Calientes).

Intipunktu was once the main entrance to Machu Picchu, in particular it was the primary approach from the then capitol city of Cusco to the southeast and would likely have been protected by Incan military. Intipunku is dedicated to the cult of the Inti, the Sun god because of its location on the ridge, the rising sun passes through the Gate each year on the summer solstice. Our hardy group plod up, each to our own pace – for some of us, it’s a slow, breathless climb with plenty of stops enroute to smell the flowers and drink in the views. 001080B8-DCE4-41BE-86DF-1C9171FBF0AB4BCEDE6B-E0A0-4705-8B0A-D89CF22FCF3AA37F061A-A443-4086-8186-1C0E623DB7C1What takes most of us a good hour and a half to climb up, its takes us about three quarters of an hour to get back down! Tired, but pleased with ourselves, we head on back down the windy mountain road to our hotel in Aguas Calientes, catch up with the rest of our group and head into town for a feed.BC115022-7750-4935-A505-09EE11FE5963