It was another early day but due to the disrupted sleep, I didn’t really feel rested. It was my last day at Machu Picchu and I had to prepare everything for check out.
By the time I was all packed and ready, it was about 615am that I arrived at the breakfast area and I was the only person there. I ordered the eggs Benedict with sausage as sides. The buffet line had cold cuts and pastries mostly and a section for Japanese cuisine which was weird (like why?). I try to finish my food quickly and got a bottle of water from the bar to take with me to the hike.
When I exited the hotel after checking out, I found the weather looking really good! So much for the low season, I was having good weather luck! My entry (with the tickets purchased online, same thing but purchase in advance is very much recommended since they are really popular) into the site was for the purpose of scaling up Huayna Picchu, the mountain behind the citadel and I hurried to the gate which was within the Machu Picchu site itself, requesting help along the way to get there. When I arrived, there was a long queue at the gate trying to enter (as people have to register their entry for tracing person). I only managed to pass through the gate at 715am.
The hike to the top was very tiring, due to the steepness of the climb that began soon after crossing over to Huayna Picchu and I had to catch my breathe with the thin air. Along the way, I met a few people and we helped each other take photos and encouraged each other to push on. It was near the top that I was in awe of the view around. I found it weird that I haven’t seen the Citadel but only saw it when I was on my way down. This is the other perspective of it rather than the one where everyone was used to. According to the guide that was with me the day earlier, the view of Machu Picchu from the Huayna Picchu would show that the citadel was constructed like a condor. Unfortunately, I could only use my imagination to see that.
The journey was supposed to be 2hrs return (there was a longer circuit but was closed) but I definitely spent more time than that, because at the viewpoint where I could see the citadel, I sat there and waited till the fog passed before taking a photo and moving on. Its ok since I had time. I was just snapping away for the entire hike!
When I was finally satisfied, I headed for the exit and it was then that I realized the part where we were initially climbing up the steep stairs was the place where it had a good view of the citadel! It was just that the fog had blocked out the view entirely in the morning while I was climbing up! But it was fine as the fog cleared out quite a bit on the way down and I enjoyed my selfies and photos (therefore the entrance scheduled on a later time might actually be better).
Back at the citadel, the view was excellent, very different from the first day I was there! I could imagine that the American ladies I met the day before at the bar being happy with the luck they have that they need not visit again in the afternoon. I also couldn’t resist a few more photos before I found myself back at the hotel.
Withdrew my bag and proceeded to the day room to use the shower. The room was essentially a gigantic toilet and shower and so I moved everything inside and locked the door. Repacked the bags and then took a bath. It was great to be feeling refreshed before moving on. I dropped my back with Belmond as they had a bell service which brings guests’ luggage direct to the train station and I left Machu Picchu, taking the shuttle bus down the mountain.
I had forgotten that I should inform the bus driver to let me alight near the bridge so that I could visit the museum and so I only got to disembark at the town. I had to walked back to the bridge which took about 20mins but the staff that stands guard at the bridge informed that the museum only opened at 12noon and I had about 30mins to the time it opens. Went to the cafe next to the bridge to use the restroom for 2soles and have an Americano for 5soles. It felt really nice to just sit next to the gushing river enjoying a hot cup of coffee.
Continued on across the bridge and it was about another 5 mins walk before I arrived at the small museum. Registered to enter and then spent some time looking at the information, quite a bit of them reinforced what the guide had shared.
The walk back to the town was bad as there was a slight drizzle. I checked a few shops to look for an alpaca soft toy and was quoted about 30soles for a medium sized one. Couldn’t decide so I went to in search of a restaurant for lunch.
Visited number 1 on TripAdvisor and it was an Italian restaurant called Incontri del pueblo Viejo, which was a little more expensive than expected but the food was absolutely delicious! I was calculating my funds (and realising that I was running short of cash) and thought that I would pay with my credit card and so I ordered a desert too. They wrote Singapore on the plate which was really a nice gesture. The waiter also requested my help to put a review on TripAdvisor and gave me wifi to do it, and since I really like the food, I put in a review. I paid 90soles including tips for the main, desert and a glass of lemonade.
It was getting late and I quickly completed my shopping of getting a book on Machu Picchu for 38soles, buy a model of Machu Picchu for 8 soles, an alpaca for 30soles and a polo tee for 43soles before going to the train station.
I arrived there shortly but spend some time to look for Belmond hotel counter but there wasn’t a permanent area for the hotel. There was only a sign but I couldn’t find the staff although I saw my bag locked up within a mobile cage. One lady was asking for help and another person who worked there assisted to contact the Belmond bell, who returned soon after.
After retrieving my bag, I proceeded to the train station and it was just a crazy amount of crowd within the building. I just stood outside for time to pass but there was also a small drizzle making the wait miserable. Thankfully that passed quickly and the boarding began soon after.
This time I was sitting the 360 that had more windows than the one I took to Aguas Calientes and I was seated with 2 Germans. Again there wasn’t much interactions and so I just went on with typing out my travel journal on my iPhone. Food was served but I wasn’t hungry. Packed the chicken sandwich and the brownie into my bag and gave away the fruit to my neighbour who looked happy to receive it.
Spent the remaining time looking at the view outside and shooting the views. There was a Pisco tasting available as the train staff push a cart around and I gladly declined as I didn’t want to end up drunk. The German man opposite me had a taste of it and the staff asked him to try with chocolate. The result as he declared – not much difference! That was funny.
When we arrived at Ollaytambo, the train staff led us to the buses where Incarail was but there was a long queue for the toilet as there were only 3 cubicles but a trainload of people. What’s funny was that the staff actually came over to hurry the people but that didn’t really have any effect on people with full bladders.
I boarded my bus number 6, the number was given to me on the train itself after I am done with the restroom. Most of the seats were taken and I found it rather constrained on space as I sat in with my haversack at where my legs were supposed to be and my sling bag on my lap. The passenger in front even lowered his chair and I had to move my bag to the aisle. Anyways, I did manage to catch some winks since there weren’t anything much to see outside, except for the occasional small towns that were lit up with lights, as it was dark already.
We disembarked at the Inca Rail office and I used their restroom one more time before walking upslope towards my Hotel Plaza De Armas. Checked in and proceeded to my huge bedroom which was a little cold and didn’t have any windows. The good thing about this hotel was that it was just so near to the main square.
The night was spent in the room while I had the chicken sandwich for dinner/supper. Set up the heater near the toilet as it got really chilly there and fell asleep on the bed. Woke up after a bit and finally decided to take my bath before spending some more time on the phone and then lights off for the night.