March 24-25, 2017 We took a day to travel to Aguas Calientes, which is the tourist town at the bottom of Machu Picchu. (The expensive train was nice, with great views and complimentary snack and drink server.) The next day we got up at an hour that should be reserved for afternoons, to take a short bus to the entrance and be among the first 100 or so tourists to arrive there.
March 22-23, 2017 The bus ride from Arequipa to Cusco was beautiful. We drove through highlands with rolling green hills, herds of llama/alpaca, and the occasional river and distant snow-capped mountain. We saw very few trees or shrubs. I don’t know if they were burned for firewood or simply don’t grow well in this environment. If there are roads in this area that aren’t used by buses etc, it would make a wonderful area to bike through.
March 21, 2017 After hiking in Colca Canyon, we took a rest day in Arequipa, which was wonderful. We slept in, caught up on journaling/blogging, and took advantage of the fancy food Arequipa had to offer with tasty hot chocolate (but not as good as Chocolat Vitale’s), and a wonderful mango tort. After that I was all ready to catch the 5:15am bus to Cusco. (That’s a lie.