Making tracks to Machu Picchu

Peru - the great floods of January 2010 will not be forgotten by many. 

As many of you recall, there was massive flooding that took place in and around the Machu Picchu area in early 2010 which resulted in great damage to cities and villages, which affected thousands of lives and left 10’s of thousands homeless. It also affected sections of the train tracks leading to Machu Picchu.  In fact, in some places the entire tracks were ripped out and sent down the river, stranding many tourists on the train heading to Machu Picchu as well as 1000’s visiting Machu Picchu as well. Read Rob and Lauren’s account of their experience on the way to Machu Picchu that day just over a year ago.

Work still continues on track maintenance and riverbank stabilization even now - it’s best to check the websites if travelling by rail as travel schedules continue to be revised to allow for work along the way to be completed. 

I’ve included a short video and collection of random photos taken along the area between Ollantaytambo and Aguas Calientes (town below Machu Picchu) - see how close to the tracks the embankments were ripped away during the flooding.  At about the 1:50 mark of the video, note the train rails strewn over the river below.  One can not even begin to imagine the destruction the raging waters caused.   At the end of this post, I’ve also posted links to a few random videos I viewed from YouTube taken during the 2010 flooding which show just how the angry, raging Urubamba River crashed through the Sacred Valley.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   


Catching Peru Rails’s Vistadome from Ollaytaytambo to Machu Picchu was a luxurious touch provided through our Friendly Planet tour.  Here are a few photos from the train of the workers who continue to do back-breaking work to stabilize the river’s banks along the Urubamba river. There appeared to still be a lot of work to be done along the train line.
OnWayToMachuPicchu_MG_6305.jpgThis entire area below was level to the tracks with water.  Hard to imagine the force of that much water thundering down the valley. These workers are building wire cages they will fill with river rock placed along the rivers banks. Back-breaking work.BankStabilization_MG_6641.jpg


Much of the river stabilization work is being done by hand.BankStabilization_MG_6666.jpg

Incredibly hard work.BankStabilization_MG_6352.jpgThe Urubamba River almost a year after the great floods of 2010.OnWayToMachuPicchu_MG_6311.jpgI’ve included a few links here to some amazing video footage shot last year during the state of emergency in Peru - in and around the Machu Picchu area.

Some random videos found on YouTube illustrating the ferocious flood waters:

excellent video of the Urubamba River in early Feb/2010 - still raging

video from ollantaytambo train station during 2010 flood

Day 6 - Friendly Planet - Amazing Peru Tour

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Welcome to my travel photo blog. Photography has been a part of my life for a long time – back in the day the Pentax Super Program was always near at hand. But it wasn’t until I started travelling around the world that photography became a vehicle for me to show others about the absolutely amazing and complex world we live in. My hope is to share with you glimpses of what I’ve seen. Enjoy!