Argentina & Machu Picchu

Well, G-Dog added a comment to my last post reminding me I’m a lazy assed blogger.  He’s absolutely correct, so I’m going to try to get my ass in gear…no promises 🙂

On Dec 28th I flew down to Buenos Aires via Toronto to hang out with Scott & Sam and generally bust it out.  I got back on Jan 19th and had a sweet 3 weeks down there.

I spent the first few days hanging out with S&S, explored B.A. and got drunk for New Years.

I flew over to Mendoza where most of the Argentinian wine is produced.  It was a good time, I was buzzed off of malbec red wine for the 4 days I was there.

I flew back to B.A. and the next morning Scott and I flew up to Peru to go check out Machu Picchu.

We stayed in Cusco the first night and took the 4 hour train ride to Aguas Calientes at the foot of Machu Picchu early the next morning.  By 1pm we had taken a bus from the valley, up to M.P.  The first sights of the ruins were pretty amazing.  The day was sunny and hot despite the forcast for the area calling for non-stop rain.  We trounced around all the ruins the first day, getting the lay of the land.  We also took a little hike around one of the mountains to see the Inca Bridge.  The cliff-side was intense.  We stayed up at the ruins until just about closing time at ~5pm.

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Day 2 we got up super early (5am) to catch the bus up to the ruins again.  We wanted to catch sunrise and hike up Wayna Picchu.  Only 400 people a day are allowed to hike the mountain, and sign up starts at 7am.  There was a lot of fog the second day, so we weren’t able to see sunrise, but the effects of the fog were just as impressive.  There was a long line to sign up for the hike up W.P., but we managed to get going around 8:30am.  The hike is similar to the grouse grind, although the stairs are far steeper.  The ruins at the top were pretty cool, but the view from the top was by far the most impressive.  The mountain is very steep, making for some pretty stomach wrenching trails.  In hopes of finding an easier way back down, we hiked around the back side of the mountain and passed by more ruins build into caves.  The alternate route turned out to be neither easier nor quicker.  We had to climb straight down 2 50 foot wooden ladders, and shimmy across a path carved out of a cliff 🙂  It was a 3 hour hike back to Machu Picchu, we had been gone for about 5 hours in total.  I’m glad we did the extra hike, it was pretty cool.

We stayed in Cusco one more night, and then flew back to B.A. the next day.  I spent the rest of my trip doing some work that I couldn’t leave behind, and continuing to explore B.A.  The second to last day I visited Tigre, a town an hour train ride from B.A.  The train ride was pretty interesting to say the least…it deserves it’s own post.  The last day I went to explore one last area of B.A. and ran straight into the closing ceremony of the Dakar Rally.

I finally started putting my flickr account to good use: http://flickr.com/photos/macritchie/

The best ones from my trip are here: http://flickr.com/photos/macritchie/sets/72157612913431467/

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