Day 69 - The wonder of Macchu Picchu city

Trip Start Sep 30, 2012
Trip End Jan 09, 2013

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Flag of Peru  , Cusco,
Saturday, December 8, 2012

After a nice breakfast in our hostel over looking the river, we met Franklyn to go explore Macchu Pichu in more detail. So we took the windy windy road back up the mountain.

Macchu Pichu is a special city for the higher / noble class of the incas. Almost like the kings court. Around 400 people lived here, many more contributing to the building of it.
The capital of the incas was Cuzco where most lived. The inca trail we went on yesterday is known as the kings road, it was found 20 years after Macchu Pichu (around 1920)and is one of many trails used by the incas - it's just the best preserved and well known. The ruins were known by locals, some even living within the ruins - before Hiram Bingham and American Archeologist looking for another city stumbled on it through the locals. An interesting fun story.

The city is divided into 3 parts - the terraces, the holy area and urban/living area. Our time with Franklyn was focused on the temple area of the city.
On our way through the terraces, Franklyn explained how the Incas had a clever way of dehydrating potatoes, and could store them for up to 15 years. There was such good storage of these around Cuzco that the Spainish army lived off these stores basically for 2 years when they brought down the inca civilization.

The house of king was next to the religious area. The king was also the religious head. It was the only house which had its own toilet and sewerage system and it was ensuite!

Our first temple was the sun temple. It looks like a castle battlement with two windows, and is amazingly built on a natural rock formation which makes it a two story temple. It is also the only rounded building.
The windows are set to allow the sun to shine through them at the summer and winter solstices, and directly onto the alter, showing the change of seasons to the religious leaders.
When this happened the feasts and celebration would happen coinciding with the planting or harvesting of food. Including the sacrificial offerings of animals, beer, and other foods.
There are findings that pre incas had offerings of humans - but this was not the case during inca times.

We headed further uphill to the observatory, which is the highest point of Macchu Pichu, and surrounded by 3 temples, making it the religious focal point of the city.

There are a number of interestingly set instrumental rocks on this temple hill. One perfectly points out the points of the compass.
Another is a incredible topographical representation of the surrounding area. Mountains and rivers very clearly and cleverly shown.

It was time to say goodbye to Franklyn, we had a wonderful tour and time him. He left us to explore the urban area of the city. The stone work and architecture of all the buildings is quite incredible. Most of the walls are done without mortar - stone and rock is carved to fit together perfectly.

We decided to do a little hike to the Inca Bridge, a 40 minute journey. It was nice to go up the mountain a little to get a top perspective again of the city on the trail. The bridge is set in the most dramatic place, the pictures show you the amazing rock faces and crazy place the bridge and this trail was built on.

Having done our fare of walking we headed down for a lunch in the quaint village. We explored a little, before grabbing our cozzies and heading to the town hot springs to smooth our muscles. The rain started up again, after having the morning beautifully sunny. It was fun to have the rain in the pools. We had a mucho needed hot drink before going to catch our train back to Cuzco at 1815 and start the journey back to our back packers, Casa De La Gringa.

An absolutely amazing time.
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