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Dear Diary:

10th November 2005  -  Machu Picchu - WOW!

I'm not sure just what attraction has the distinction of being the the number one visited place in South America, but I would guess that Machu Picchu is number 1 or 2. It was up there Machu Picchuvery high on my to see list while in South America and at long last I can say I have!

Unfortunately I did not get to do the Inca trail as you have to book 1-2 months in advance and I did not want to be locked into a specific date. Instead I got the train from Cusco direct to Aguas Calientes the town at the base of the mountain that I reasonably sure this is the start of the Inca trailMachu Piccu sits on. Its a lovely ride and the weather was nice, but I did feel a tad sad when we passed the point where the Inca trail starts.

After spending the night in Aguas Calientes, it was a 5am start and a bit of a cheat as I got a bus up the mountain rather than hike as I anticipated a very long day on my feet checking things out.

I guess the gods were shining on us, as the day before and after my summit were both rain filled, but my actual day on the mountain was sun sun sun starting with a lovely sun rise.

Me and my old Rugby mate from Sydney, FrancieNow over the years I have managed to bump into any number of old mates in far flung parts of the world. Machu Picchu was no different. Early in the morning I said hi to an Aussie couple. I then asked the guy if he had a relative named Andrew France as he looked similar to an old rugby mate I had last seen in 1996. The reply, was... "No, i am Andrew France!". Good to see ya mate. I hope all goes well.

Still running into Andrew was not the end of meeting old Toni, David and Imates. A few days before I got the train to Machu Piccu I received an email from David and Toni, some old Uni mates living in London. It seamed they were just about to start a trek up to Machu Picchu and would be on the site on the 5th of October. Given they were trekking by the time I got their email, there was no way for them to know I was even in the Trying to feel the energy of the mountaincountry let alone in Cusco just down the road. So I timed my visit in the hope of running into them on the mountain on the 5th. It worked! Check out the video of me surprising them on the side of the mountain here. Great to see you guys!

I will mention one other very funny happening on the day and that involved my rubber chicken Frankie! As Toni, Dave and I wandered through the site, we took the opportunity to get a spot Frankie photo. While taking the photo another couple came up to us to proudly show us there very own rubber chicken! Yep, I am NOT the only idiot who is traveling with a rubber chicken! If the photos are not enough for you, click here to see the video proof!

Any way, it was a full day seeing the site from all angels including the Inca bridge out the back and I have not counted how many photos I took, but it was a load! Yet again its a case of if you ever get the chance...

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