Today we spent the day exploring the almighty Machu Picchu. We had to wake up super early, some of us woke up at 5 AM, and met at the train station at 6:30. Our teachers didn’t show up until 6:45, but luckily the train did not leave until 7. After an hour and a half of early morning train ride, we got off in Machu Picchu Pueblo, a town at the base of the mountain. On the train we were served brownies before any of us had the chance to eat breakfast. Next, we took a bus to the top of the mountain on very windy roads and hiked the last 20 minutes to the top led by our fantastic guide Eddy.
In the city of Machu Picchu, there were more than 20 llamas roaming around and eating grass. Yumin, characteristically embracing the nature, tried to feed one of them a cracker, but Señora Vera quickly intervened, and the llama continued to happily eat its grass. Eddy explained to us that the llamas have a tendency to spit in self-defense, so feeding them was not ideal.
As we reached the top of the site, the prime picture location, we took the classic Peru GEO photo wearing our matching Groton T-shirts (some say this was the best one yet). After the photo op, we explored the ruins for a couple of hours and learned more about the history of the city. As per usual, Tai and Luke had their cameras at the ready and took a record number of photos in one day.
One of the most interesting parts of our tour was the stargazing pools. The Incas would use these tiny pools of water to reflect the stars at night and study the constellations. It was not night, so we couldn’t see any stars, but we could look at the sun and that was cool too. Max and George also took many more epic vlogs, stay tuned for the final product coming soon. Today we featured a surprise interview with Mr. Harvey. He didn’t really answer any of our questions, but we think he had a good time.
After a long day on the mountain, we descended back to Machu Picchu Pueblo and had lunch in a restaurant in the town. In a coincidence that defies all odds, we (Max and Tai) both ordered the exact same lunch, including appetizer, the day before without any communication. Our meal was pollo a la piña, or pineapple chicken for those of you who don’t speak Spanish, and we both agree it was one of the best things we’ve tasted in our short lives. Seriously, try it if you get the chance. The presentation was also top notch with the chicken mounted inside a hollowed-out half of a pineapple. I know, my mouth is watering too. Pictures below. Unfortunately, while we were at the restaurant we also witnessed the Peru men’s soccer team lose 0-5 to Brazil in the Copa América, but the pineapple chicken made up for the loss.
On the train ride home there was music and dancing and a brightly dressed figure running through the cars. Tai was trying to sleep, but everyone else was having a fun time.