Chile - Peru 2009

Machu Picchu/Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo

12 November 2009

General Information

Local Map

Photographs and Commentary
Click on picture to enlarge

Leo and Martha opted for an earlier train to our next stop, Ollantaytamo (Ollanta to the locals). The rest of us had a few more hours to explore Machu Picchu in the morning before we needed to get our train. One of the highlights of a trip to Machu Picchu is to watch the sunrise from up there. I got up around 5 am, looked out the window and saw the rain and clouds covering Machu Picchu and decided that this was not an option for us. We had intermittent rain for most of the morning. The group met for breakfast and decided to look at some of the sites in Aguas Calientes. By the time we got going, the only visit we could make is to the Butterfly House, down the hill from the hotel. It was not a large facility, but we found it interesting.

We boarded the train for the relatively short ride to Ollantaytambo. Upon arriving at Ollantaytambo we were met by a bellhop from our hotel and walked to our hotel, five minutes away. The rest of the day in Ollantaytambo was free time so, in the afternoon, we walked up the hill to see the town and planned on eating dinner in town. The walk up the hill is roughly a half a mile to the center of the town and most of us only wanted to make it once (I wound up making it twice... the price for leaving my jacket in the hotel). Ollantaytambo is another Inca town with ruins surrounding it. What was interesting about this town is that it is still laid out the same way it was in Inca times and the street names are still the same. Of course, the Incas had not planned on auto, truck and bus traffic so that some streets are impassable to vehicles while others are so tight that two way traffic is a nightmare and pedestrians have to squeeze against the walls to allow the larger vehicles to pass

Sumaq Machu Picchu hotel

Our hotel in Aguas Calientes


Right, Susie in front of the Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel

Machu Picchu as seen from the lower part of Aguas Calientes

Butterfly house sign

Our butterflies at the Butterfly House

Caterpiller Butterfly

Owl Butterfly

Owl Butterfly, named for the eye marking on its wings (see more picture below)



front and back of Owl Butterfly

Front and back of an Owl Butterfly

Butterfly eggs

Butterfly eggs on the underside of a leaf

popular means of travel in Ollantaytambo

Pakaritampu Hotel in Ollantaytambo

Popular means of travel in Ollantaytambo. Martha is waving to us pedestrians as she and Leo zoomed by. These vehicles are underpowered and run on relatively thin wheels. I was amazed that the drivers didn't lose control on the rutted streets they negotiated/

The popular means of travel in Ollantaytambo Fortress

The Ollantaytambo Fortress which we visit tomorrow. This was the site of a defeat of the Spaniards under Pizzaro by Inca forces. It was a short lived victory.

Ruins of storage buildings overlooking the town of Ollantaytambo

Ollantaytambo Plaza

The plaza in Ollantaytambo

Street in Ollantaytambo

Narrow, two way, street in Ollantaytambo.

Narrow Inca street in Ollantaytambo

Narrow Inca street in Ollantaytambo

Modern house on Inca foundation

Ollantaytambo ruins seen from town

As Seen on the Road

Motorhome in Ollantaytambo

The last thing we expected to see in Ollantaytambo was this motorhome. It is a unit from a California based RV rental company. I doubt the company has rentals in Peru, but you never know.

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