Macchu Picchu, Lost city of the Incas

Trip Start Mar 15, 2006
Trip End Dec 20, 2006

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Iīve wanted to visit Macchu Picchu for a long time, ever since I was about 8 and did a school project on it. I was half expecting to be disapointed, for Macchu Picchu to have lost itīs charm by becoming too famous and having too many tourists, but this wasnīt the case.
Not having the organisational skills to book months ahead for the Inca trail, or much time left to do an alternative treck I had to catch the train up, first to Aguas Calientes (literally meaning hot water in Spanish, and home to some hot springs), where I spent the night so I could catch the bus early the next morning to see the sunrise at Macchu Picchu.
I was one of the first people there the next morning, when the mountain was still shrouded in fog. Walking among the silent, foggy ruins, surrounded by mountain peaks was quite an eerie feeling. Slowly more tourists trickled in, and we settled for a vantage point looking down over the ruins. The effect of the sun on the fog was really beautiful, like it was glowing from within as it slowly floated past the ruins. Once the fog lifted I was struck by how spectacular the setting was. All around were mountain peaks, and far below was the Urubamba river. It must have been very hard work for the people who built the city, cutting the blocks and moving them by hand. But it would have been a beautiful place to live, and filled with spiritual significance too. For example, I was amazed that they had taken the effort to build the city in the shape of a condor (which you can see if you climb the nearby mountain Waynapicchu which overlooks the site), just as Ollantaytambo had been built in the shape of a llama, and Cusco had been built in the shape of a puma.
After my guided tour I climbed Waynapicchu, which was very steep and tough, but worth it. On the way down I took a rather long detour to a cave which had some more ruins. This track was so steep in sections that you had to climb down ladders, and I only saw a couple of other tourists. By the time I got back I was exhausted, it had started to rain, and there were quite a lot of slow walking elderly tour groups, so I didnīt really feel quite the same magic.
From Cusco it was anothe early start to fly to Lima and then on to Quito in Ecuador, where I will finalise a boat trip to the Galapagos.
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Lynn8 on

The pictures are really beautiful. Thank you for your pictures. And I hope I can have a trip to Macchu Picchu.

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