The view from the top of Hayuna Picchu was impressive. It is very difficult to get a feel for this from the photograph because you can't really feel the depth of view. The red dot indicates where I was standing when the "postcard" shots were taken.
The road that the bus takes to the visitors centre is quite a long one, about 20 minutes. The route that we walked is indicated by the red line.
Hayuna Picchu has a few ruins of its own and its very own set of ridiculously steep steps. They were so steep that I had to walk down them backwards to get any kind of stability.
Aguas Calientes, being about 1800m above sea level is a bit lower than where we were... an 800m ascent on foot in the space of a few hours. Phwoar. I'm glad we were reasonably acclimatised to the altitude by this point. In fact, I derived a little bit of guilty pleasure from watching the un-acclimatised (and generally un-fit) people who obviously hadn't done any kind of hike to get here struggle to even walk at a brisk pace.
After getting up so early, having such a small breakfast and walking around for such a long time during the day, we all felt very very hungry indeed. These alpacas look tasty... (we actually did end up having alpaca steak that night when we got back to Cusco).
And finally... two postcard shots of the city for your perusal. Click on the images for bigger versions (warning: the big versions are REALLY BIG)
Click the image for a bigger version.
A plaque to remind us of the bold explorer who discovered this gem of a tourist destination.
and finally... an interesting little story. When we got back to Aguas Calientes, we discovered (by being told) that our train tickets had mysteriously gone missing. Me and Nick had to cough up our passports so that they could issue us with replacements. My replacement ticket is pictured above. This all seemed well and good until I was called by security to come off the train. Now there was no way in hell they were going to get my off the train so we stood in the doorway and argued a bit. It turns out that someone else also had a ticket with seat humber 48 on it. Oh dear. They checked the paperwork and my ID and discovered that seat number 48 did, in fact, have my name on it... as did the other poor fellow's ticket. The result - he was forcibly removed from the train while I was allowed to remain. I suspect he will have a very strongly worded conversation with his guide for giving him a stolen ticket...