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2003-01-17 - 11:31 a.m.

Machu Picchu, Day Four, Part Two

After sunrise at Intipunku, we weren't in a hurry - we had hours til the hordes of tourist arriving by train from Cusco showed up.

We hiked down for about twenty minutes to a hill overlooking the ruins. Predictably, there were llamas.

Because llamas love Inca ruins!

Then we spent a couple of hours wandering around the ruins, led by our tour guide. I was pretty tired by that point - four days of walking had taken their toll. Here's what I remember: old rocks, Incans, more old rocks, Quechua, the Spanish are bad, coca leaves are good. Our tour guide talked a lot about coca leaves.

By 10:30 am, we were done, which was good, as that's when all the tourists started to arrive. Machu Picchu began to slowly resemble Disney Land. Melchior decided to climb Huayna Picchu, a mountain overlooking the site.

I opted out, figuring I had made it this far without hurting myself. I didn't want to tempt fate. Also, it looked scary. Instead, I took more pictures of llamas.

And tourists.

And more tourists.

And gloated in the fact that they had all taken a train to get to Machu Picchu, while I had WALKED FOUR DAYS TO GET THERE.

By 1 pm, we were ready to leave - we took a bus to Aguas Calientes, the nearby town, climbed up yet another steep hill, and relaxed in the hot baths there. For the first time in four days, I was almost clean.

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