We got up at 4:45 AM this morning. We were up and ready to let our driver in the front door before the desk clerk was even around. We got the guy making breakfast to unlock the doors after we heard knocking.
Our train ride from Cusco to Aguas Calientes was about four hours, but we slept part of the way. Once we arrived in Aguas Calientes, we gave our bags to the bus boys for our hotel Presidente and proceeded to catch a bus up the mountain to Machu Picchu. It was a twenty minute ride up the very curvy road. Our guide, Darwin, gave us a very informative tour of the site.
After the tour, John and Cecily decided the wanted to climb to the "Sun Gate" with Dave and Julieen (our new friends on our tour). Mom and Dad went back down to Aguas Calientes and John and Cecily ate lunch at the Sanctuary Lodge for $20.00/person (boy, this is ridiculously high considering the average Peruvian makes about $150/month).
Be began our three hour hike up the mountain, passing the guard tower on our way. About an hour or so later of huffing and puffing, we reached the top. What a glorious view! We took many photos, but none do justice.
We went back down in about half the time it took us to reach the top. We watched the sun rays cast over Machu Picchu as the sun set.
Click HERE for some more interesting info Cecily found about Macchu Picchu.
We went back to the hotel to meet Mom and Dad and to clean up, since we were filthy from our climb. When John and Cecily checked in, the desk clerk gave us an upgraded room (I think she had a crush on John). The room had a spectacular view of the river below and the mountain above. Ironically, the desk clerk had said this was the quiet side of the hotel. I'd hate to be on the loud side, considering all the noise in the hallway and the loud laughing people outside. Aside from the noise, it was a great day.