Cuzco and Machu Picchu
Trip Start Feb 28, 2011
22Trip End Jun 01, 2011
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Following a huge lunch I walked around the city streets and came across Templo De La Compania De Jesus it is a beautiful church on the outside. I noticed it was open so I went inside and I have never seen a Christian church like this before. The alter was many stories high and it was covered in gold like many of the Buddhist temples in Asia, it had many statues of important Christan figures like the Hindu temples in India with paintings mixed in just like the cathedrals in Europe. It felt like the perfect combination of all religions I have experienced along the way. After I left I was thinking it's great to see all these beautiful sites in Cuzco but I don't really know what I am looking at. Just as I thought that I felt a women behind me and saw her out of the corner of my eye. I asked her to take my picture and we started talking for a few minutes and found out she is a Peruvian tour guide
Yudy asked if I wanted to see her home, which was in a small village about forty-five minutes away from Cuzco. It was about 10pm and I had to be at the train station the next morning by 7am to get to Machu Picchu. But my mindset for this journey is to say yes to everything. About one hour later the taxi dropped us off on the side of an empty road and I had no idea where we were. We walked up a dirt road to her home. It is a beautiful home she has designed and built with traditional Incan art throughout the home. Yudy does not have any neighbors and lives in a field surrounded by mountains. There was a full moon out so the mountains were illuminated and it was as if there was a huge spotlight on us as we drank wine. The stars were out and it was a perfect moment. One of the most important things to the Incans is there connection with nature
We made it to Cuzco and then to Poroy where the train station is, in time for breakfast. It is about a three hour and thirty minute train ride from Cuzco to Aguas Calientes which is at the base of Machu Picchu. Along the way the train passes through Huarocondo gorge and zigzags it way down the path into the gorge. From there it travels into Ollantaytambo the ancient Inca resting place and then into and through the Sacred Valley. The entire train ride is an incredible experience all while running along the river and surrounded by mountains. Once in Aguas Calientes I checked into a hostel and decided to walk around the town. It is a small town set on a hill with a beautiful backdrop. There are many Peruvian restaurants and handcrafts making up the streets the town. The next morning I woke up early and walked to the bottom the town to catch the bus to Machu Picchu
To get to Machu Picchu I took the train from Verona to Milan and spent a night there. Then a flight to Madrid where I had to run to make my connection to Lima. A night in Lima then a flight to Cuzco. A taxi ride to wherever Yudy lives and a taxi ride back to Cuzco, then to Poroy. From Poroy, a train through the Sacred Valley to Aguas Calientes. Finally a bus to Machu Picchu. There was nothing better than every second of the journey.
I got back to Poroy and Yudy was waiting in the train station for me. We both headed back to Cuzco because she had to catch a bus to begin one of her tours in a few hours. We walked around the streets of Cuzco and before she left Yudy explained the souvenir I bought in Machu Picchu. The connection of the Incas to nature is the most important piece of this great culture. So I bought a little stone Chakana that is the Incan calender. On the calendar the condor represents the cosmos, the puma represents the earth and the snake represents the seas and in the center is the sun and moon always in Incan tradition representing duality. Then as Yudy was about to leave she held out her hand and gave me a present. The first was a small red seed, which she found in the Peruvian jungle which represents the female seed. Since I am a male she gave me the opposite to keep me in balance. She also gave me a piece of Peruvian volcano she found which represents strength. The two when carried together represent inner harmony and bring you what you want. She told me once I meet my soul mate to bury the red seed. I have been fortunate to receive many gifts in my life but this one was given from the most sincere place I have ever felt. It is the best gift I have ever received and I know that a present like this and that moment could never be bought in any store anywhere in the world. It almost doesn't seem fair to try and express this story because the actually sincerity of it can not be written or read.
"The more you listen the more you will learn"-Ruben Iwaki Ordonez