Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu

I awoke early on the Thursday in the hope of new birds in the grounds of El Albergue. I wasn´t dissapointed - a beatiful Black-tailed Trainbearer greeted me and the dawn. We took the 8am train to Aguas Calientes, the town near the ruins of Machu Picchu, quickly got on one of the buses and arrived at the site at around 10am.

What a place! I looked at Bernie and we couldn´t really believe we had got there. It was a beautiful day - we spent a good threee hours touring the site but didn´t climb the big one! The setting is incredible and no end of photographs could convey the situation.

We made our way back to the town and managed to sneak into the grounds of the very expensive hotel (cos we looked like guests) . This place was filled with hummingbirds and tanagers. Some exquisite birds - we managed to see the endemic Green & White Hummingbird as well as Saffron Crowned Tanager and loads of other goodies in half an hour before we felt we may well be sussed by the hotel security people!

The morning of Friday 11th was miserable - our first rain and the day we were meant to be doing the Abra Malaga pass. We got a bit of a window in the weather and took a taxi up there where I managed to do a very brief climb up to some polylepis trees and got Puna Tapaculo and Tawny Tit-Spinetail. We managed a few other birds on teh way up including two spectacular hummers - Great Sapphirewing and Spot breasted Sunbeam.

It´s now Saturday and we´ve reached Cuzco. We´re here for a few days before heading into the Cloud Forest. Off to get some food now!


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