An easy hike through lush tropical vegetation to Llactapata with our first views of Machu Picchu, followed by a downhill mud scramble to Hydroelectrica. Our trekking company set us up with amazing seats in the "great view" coach on the train ride to Aguas Calientes where we would hotel before continuing on to Machu Picchu tomorrow.
The train cars on PeruRail are extremely clean and the overhead windows give you dazzling views of the towering mountains above you.
E.T. Phone Home
Gabo probably won’t get the "E.T. Phone Home" reference, but I’ll throw it in there anyway. He knows of one spots on the mountain where he can get enough reception to call home and talk to his dad – a nice thing when you’re stuck out in the wilderness for days on end.
Taking a Break
Shelby stops for a break with a majestic background as we hike from La Playa up to Llactapata at the top of the mountain, then down again to Hydroelectrica where a train will take us to Aguas Calientes.
Like Father, Like Daughter
Despite Shelby’s insistence, I don’t think I look nerdy at all with my camera pack!
Through the Rain Forest
Deep in the rain forest, water trickles down the moss on the rocks and epiphytes cling to everything.
Taking a break at Llactapata with a view of Machu Picchu in the background.
Shelby insisted on a photo with the coffee beans growing alongside the trail. It’s neat being able to stop and pluck a few ripe red beans and chew the sweet, pulpy goo surrounding the coffee bean.
Shelby closes her eyes and hauls ass across this rocking bridge. I think she has little faith in other countries’ engineering standards!
Gabriel is happy to have made it to Hydroelectrica in time to catch the train.
This Way to Machu Picchu
A sign pointing the way to Machu Picchu from the trail leading into Hydroelectrica.
Ready to Roll
Our locomotive sits waiting to take us to Aguas Calientes
A dazzling array of colors on a vendor’s table at the Hydroelectrica train station. There is a long row of probably 20 vendors pretty much selling the same exact things, but everybody needs to make a buck somehow.
Our Chariot Awaits
Lines of PeruRail cars ready to take weary hikers to hotel beds in Aguas Calientes.