Machu Pichu, even more awesome than we imagined
Trip Start Nov 09, 2011
71Trip End Ongoing
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So the day I had been waiting for arrives... we were up nice and early about 4am and got ready for a short walk to the station at Ollantaytambo...the train left on time at 6.10am and a spectacular journey through the sacred valley...slowly changing to being very jungle like with much more vegetation..
.90 minutes later we arrive at Aguas Calientes...now we had been told, and, it is on trip advisor that aguas caliente was not very nice.... but to our amazement it was very good ..obviously purpose built for tourists now, new builds mod cons restuarants and bars and of course the obligatory walk through the market sellers..!!..but very nicely laid out and easy to find the bus for the trip up the mountain..(.yes Ian we took the bus.)..and so glad we did, Ian had said we should walk up, evironmentally friendlier, but the bus ride itself took 20 mins and with the steep climb up and hair pins bends ..it would have taken a good hour and a half to get up and we would have been soooo tired..
No food allowed in Machu Picchu so we had to eat our packed lunch at 9am..before entering..oh well...and wow was it worth it... it is a true miracle .. buildings made from huge stones, on top of a sheer cliff face mountain..and still in good condition...apparently they are 30% restored, but that means 70% were original...awesome...pathways to follow buildings to walk through and terracing to admire ..
what can I say it was awesome we walked,climbed, sat, watched, meditated and enjoyed the whole experience and did not leave until 5pm...we also walked to the Inka bridge...which entailed a very scary narrow stoney path behind machu, along a sheer drop cliff more than 500 ft down... i had to stop a few times for deep breaths and to regain my confidence.. now the story goes that Ian walked this path 3 years ago with his friend,on his world trip, in the dark without knowing what was below,as they climbed machu to see the sun rise.....!! I thought about him every step I took...phew..but we made it safely as Ian had, the bridge was quite an amazing feat they had built a removable bridge across the mountain path so enemies could not climb up that way...it was too dangerous to get too close it was fenced off.. but it was interesting..
I was sad to leave Machu picchu but so happy I had seen one of the real wonders of the world something I had wanted to do since Ian told me about his trip 3 years ago..but never thought I would find someone to do it with....thank you Robin..
We came down the hill in the bus and caught the train back to Ollantaytambo along with hundreds of others..the train was packed..we had been sat down for 30 mins when suddenly this huge insect type thing started flying around the carriage, everyone was ducking and diving to avoid it..it was massive..after flying around for a short while it settled on robins seat just next to the side of his head... everyone on the train laughed as Robin pulled faces of fear,now we could see the wing span of this animal was about 8ins....we now believe it was a moth, it remained next to robins head for the whole trip , much to his dismay..and we nick named him Manuel...que...?
what a life changing day.....!!
Robin: And so our train arrived back at 8:10, 14 hours after we had left. A long time, but a day we will never forget. When we arrived the clouds were low, slowly rolling up the mountainsides that surround Machu Pichu
If it had been a hot clear day it would have been unbearable. I would say the conditions for our visit were perfect. Machu Pichu is surrounded by steep mountains, whilst below is a gorge so deep you almost cannot see the bottom. Throughout the day the highest peaks were shrouded in cloud but after our walk to the Inca Bridge we returned to see the peaks for the first time free of cloud. As we sat in awe looking at the splendour of Machu Pichu below us. Had we really been there. Yes we had, a memory that will stay with us for ever.
And as 5 o'clock approached, the crowds had all but gone we felt we had the place to ourselves.
And now.... the picture that fronts our blog is of us, actually there at Machu Pichu, rather than the library picture that was there before. If you get the chance then all we can say is....
...visit this magical, mysterious place.
(.... and on the way home.... we will visit the Pyramids. Can thay be anything like as awesome. I don't believe it is possible.)
Enjoy this highlight of our Great Adventure