Work learn love Day 11.

The Peruvian sun woke us up nice and early (5:00am) so a couple of us decided to catch the early bus back up to Machu Picchu with the hope of enjoying the quiet serenity before the mad crowds hit at 8am!

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As the sun shone over the mountains and blue skies covered the sky, we made our way to the famous inca bridge. Along the way we were largely distracted by lush vegetation, wildlife and many incredible photo opportunities (including multiple selfies)! The bridge itself was a carefully crafted masterpiece like most Incan structures- unfortunately we weren’t able to stand on it but the view was still very impressive. We then met the rest of the group at 9am where our team leader Yieber gave us a two hour grand tour of the different sections of the Incan city.

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We made our way down to the main Incan ruins where we were able to explore the many different areas that were used by the Incan community. We quickly learnt that only 40% of the Incan city of Machu Picchu is actually visible! The remaining 60% are the underground foundations which are what make this city so well preserved. We continued to battle the heat (when I say heat I am referring to a mere 22 degrees but with full, hot sun) and learn more about this incredibly advanced civilisation.

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Every structure has a purpose whether it be signifying duality, highlighting sacred animals or acknowledging different parts of the land- I am telling you, these people thought of it all! For example the Temple of the Sun was specifically designed to predict the summer and winter solstices. Other structures were used as compasses, when Yieber brought up his compass on his phone the stone structures mirrored the exact direction!

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In the middle of our guided tour – we we spotted alpacas and llamas who looked even more exhausted than us! Some were munching on luscious green grass while others were taking five in the shade- something we were constantly searching for throughout the tour! However the sun did have its advantages, there was no cloud, so the the scenery was even more photogenic than yesterday and so were we 🙂

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Towards the end of our tour, Yieber told us the three main rules of being part of the Incan community – work, learn, love. We have definitely seen these qualities in numerous Incan people throughout our trip, especially in Misminay where we built our greenhouses. We were fortunate enough to work with many people who were committed, generous and incredibly hardworking. After Yieber’s two hour tour we said goodbye to the wonderfully good looking Machu Picchu and many of us promised to return and re-live the amazing adventure!

 

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We then hopped on the bus and drove back down to the main town (except for Zanna who bravely decided to run/ walk down the mountain) to have lunch- some of us made a quick trip to the market to make some last minute purchases! We enjoyed dinner sized meals at the same restaurant we ate at last night – however this time there was less sangria and more unnecessary food consumed!

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We then picked up our bags from our hostel and made our way to the train station- this is where our unforgettable Machu Picchu journey sadly ended. What an amazing two days spent in a truly unimaginable city filled with excitement, mystery and more adventure than one could possibly imagine!
We caught the Inca Rail back to the town of Ollayuntaytumbo where we picked up our luggage from our hotel – packed it onto the bus and headed back to our original destination – the capital of the Incan Trail, Cusco!

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We didn’t arrived in Cusco until 7pm we were all too tired to make the 5 minute walk for a late dinner so we all decided to have a night in and experience takeaway food… Peruvian style! Our selection included the Peruvian equivalent of charcoal chicken with chips, salad and vegetables and the vegetarians enjoyed delicious roast veggie paninis! We all enjoyed a well deserved hot shower and we are looking forward exploring the many wonderful sites in Cusco tomorrow!

Buenos noches!
Lauren Diggle

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