I need to finish the Bolivia / Peru story before we end up going to Russia, so I will start going through the remaining pictures briefly. After Pisac we made our way to Ollantaytambo by regular bus, from where we were hoping to catch an inconvenient but cheap (US$20 each way) train to Machu Picchu. The tickets for that train were sold out, however, so we ended up having to buy tickets for a more expensive train (paying a total of about $70 for the round trip) for the next morning. We showed up in “the town incorrectly known as Aguas Caliente” (they now prefer to be known as “Municipality of Machu Picchu”) early next morning (it’s 1-2 hours from Ollantaytambo) and immediately took a bus up to Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu was by far the most beautiful sight we encountered on our trip, surpassing even the best photos of it that I had seen before. The beauty of the place makes it easy to see why this relatively unimportant Inca fortress has captured the imagination of the whole world and why so many myths have been created about it. (The history of Machu Picchu pales in comparison with the views: it was a fortress contstructed in 15th century by the Incas to guard the road into the jungle. That’s pretty much all that is known about it.)