Day 114 - November 24th

Today we saw Machu Picchu!! Sit tight and prepare for a long post.

We got up at 5:30....its gonna be a long day.  Had breakfast at the hostel at 6, grabbed our bags which we packed the night before and walked down the the train station. This is where the beginnings of our hilarity for the day ensued...so first thing we notice is how under prepared we looked compared to everyone. Dave literally only had short shorts, a singlet, and boat shoes. Trevor was also in shorts, but at least he had real shoes and was carrying the backpack (for now at least). Everyone else seemed like rich old people who were decked out in 3 layers of brand new hiking clothes with hiking boots and umbrellas and hiking poles and so much other stuff. This is awesome. The next funny thing was the fact that we were able to send a video of turnips to our Turnip guy in Wisconsin....turns out the hills around Machu Piccu are covered in them. I think we're gonna start a company called 'Yellow Flowers of the Americas'. I'm sure National Geographic will pick us up pretty quick here.

The train itself was nice. We got coffee and stuff and it had comfy leather seats. And it's a good thing. Cost us each $115 USD round trip. After 90 mins on the train, we arrived in Aguas Callientes, the town at the foot of Machu Picchu. Here, we spent more money...$24 USD each on bus tickets, then $38 USD each on Machu Picchu entrance tickets. This better be good. Does it really matter though? I mean your not gonna come to Peru and not see Machu Picchu. They kinda have the market cornered and can charge whatever they want.

We got up to Machu Picchu and it was pretty spectacular. The views were awesome of course, but the really cool things were: the bus ride....so many switchbacks and wow can those guys drive busses well. Pretty cool. The Sun Gate was pretty neat! We walked super high up (didn't realize it was gonna be so high or we probably wouldn't have done it to be honest) and got an interesting view of Machu Picchu. The Inca Bridge was a bit lame....but the cliffs over there were cool. We tried to listen to some English guides along the way for a few fun facts. We do love fun facts. We got yelled at about 74 times by people or guides or officials or something saying 'don't jump for photo!!'. So naturally, we had to both get jumping photos....so rebellious, eh? Then we did the whole circuit of the ruins. Meantime, Dave was getting eaten alive by these tiny little bugs and was dying a bit....should have sprung for the overpriced bugspray at the bottom I guess.

We also probably should have brought more food. Would have stayed a bit longer but the food up there was stupid expensive so we opted to call it for the day and head back down to Aguas Callientes where Trevor got Alpaca steak and Dave got Burritos.

We had a few hours to kill in Aguas Callientes, so we went around all the souvenir shops (which there are millions of), then got smart and bought beers at the market and went and wandered with those and souvenir shopped. Then when we were all shopped out we found a little soccer field where some people were playing and sat in the stands and hung out until our train left at 7pm.

The train ride was really cool actually. We met a guy and a girl who were dating and one was a genetics guy and the other was a doctor lady. Trevor and Dave kept asking questions and we ended up learning all about genome sequencing! Super fun, very practical.

We got back to Ollataytambo, and passed out pretty quick...but oh man, what a cool day.

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