03 march Aguas Caliente (PERU')

Chincero. The work of the archaeologists is uncovering the ruins of a majestic Inca palace.

Moray. Strange circular terraces, very impressive... the mystery deepens!

The salt mines of Maras leave me speechless! It is difficult the journey that will lead us to "salineras". Our bus often grazes the edge of the ravine... shudder... the show is amazing, a kind of Peruvian Fez where, instead of the tanning of skins, there are multicolored pools of salt!

At 16.00 we are already at Ollantaytambo where we start, on the "Peru Rail" train, inbound the slopes of Machu Picchu. We are very excited and, already from our windows, we admire a landscape that scare us... Rio Urubamba flows violently beside the tracks. The rapids are threatening!

The vegetation is so dense and impenetrable that we hardly distinguish the ground. A pinch of Amazon reminds us in which part of the world we are! Our little blue train continues its journey and every corner is a new discovery for our enchanted eyes.

Who knows what this place was at the Incas time...

It starts raining but we are elated and we go straight to dinner... tomorrow we expect a wake up call at 4:00 am: we will discover another wonder of the modern world!

04 march Aguas Caliente (PERU')

[Stefy]: "Outside it is still dark. It’s cold, there's so much fog and we can not see anything! We are hopeful and we entrust our prayers to Inca God. We reach, by bus, the entrance for the site and we climb up to a mirador while it continues to rain...


Suddenly a timid sun emerges and it will accompany us all day long!
We begin the visit of the site... we still can’t believe to be here and to have, before us, this beauty only seen in documentaries and postcards.
Our guide tells us about the "House of the Guardian", we see old houses, the sacred altars...

Our gaze is directed to the top of Machu Picchu ... we begin the climb, it’s much more difficult than we expected... endless stone steps, irregular and of different sizes... my lungs ask for mercy...  legs as well… they seem to never end! The more we climbed and the more suggestive the sceneries became! Last effort, last breath and here we are at the top to admire one of the wonders of the modern world! The satisfaction you get when you reach the top is priceless!

We enjoy our goal but not for long! We are soaked and a strong wind pulls... the descent begins! The legs are trembling for the continuous effort; we go down without stopping, each of us with his own breath, each with different images in the heart and eyes.

It’s not over yet! We decide to follow the path until the ''Inca Bridge"... it’s not very exciting after the trek just done and eventually we fall down on a lawn to retrieve the latest power for the last walk to the village of Aguas Caliente!

Steps... steps... yet the end seemed increasingly distant... I was exhausted and, after a shower, I feel the need of a relaxing massage... Here we are, me and Cinzia, enjoying this well-earned rest!

Tomorrow morning we catch the train to Ollataytambo!"

05 march Cuzco (PERU')

We retrace the route done two days ago by train...
We still think about what we have just experienced, and shortly after we relax a bit in the central plaza of the small Andean village of Ollataytambo... their daily life passes before my eyes... three children come and ask us if we want to listen to a Quechua song in exchange for a small tip...  small women by imposing skirts, with alpaca socks to the knee and long black braids connected to each other behind their back are carrying heavy loads on their shoulders...
They go to the small "Mercado Municipal", perhaps come from the surrounding villages to sell, for a few soles, some vegetable or fruit... we follow them and enjoy, for a moment, their world...

In the afternoon we visit Pisac... it is amazing how this ancient civilization had built such impressive structures in so inaccessible places. We climb and we let ourselves seduced by this latest mysterious place...

Finally in the evening we are back to Cuzco! We get lost in his giant Plaza de Armas, the Cathedral surrounded by colonial arcades that take you, with imagination, back in time...

06 march Cuzco (PERU')

Today we visit this ancient town admiring its beauty: the Cathedral, the "Monasterio de Santa Catalina", the Convento de Santo Domingo, the "Qorikancha" but maybe I am tired of museums and churches... I want to enjoy the city differently but at the same time we must pack our backpacks again... tomorrow we leave Peru!

We celebrate this event together with the excellent parillada at Plus Restaurant, a traditional and very cute restaurant in the central square of Cuzco...

07 march Cuzco (PERU')

This morning we take the opportunity to visit some areas of Cuzco that we haven’t seen yet!

We go in the neighborhood of San Blas, just behind the Cathedral; very tight cobblestone alleyways, candid white walls and cobalt blue doors and windows. Many characteristic views that make us appreciate even more this ancient town

 

[Stefano Buttafoco from San Benedetto del Tronto]: "Life is exchanging, knowledge and sharing and, after this trip, I am sure to have grown up a lot."

We go in the neighborhood of San Blas, just behind the Cathedral; very tight cobblestone alleyways, candid white walls and cobalt blue doors and windows. Many characteristic views that make us appreciate even more this ancient town.

We enter the alleys of the "Mercado San Pedro", we get lost among the bright colors of the fabric, intoxicated by the scent of a thousand spices; time to take our backpacks for us and, driving in the chaotic traffic of a Saturday afternoon market, by taxi, in twenty minutes we reach the airport... we have two flights to get to Quito!

[Daniela Raso from La Loggia]: "You can not describe a journey: just live it."

 

 

 
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