Saturday, October 19, 2013

Machu Picchu - Day 5 Machu Picchu G Adventure Tour

Monday, October 7, the alarm went off at 5 am but no worries, as we were already pretty much awake because the roosters had started squawking at 3am right outside our window. If we'd had a gun or slingshot, that rooster would no longer be able to squeak out anything!!

So up and dressed, I was on my way down for COFFEE!!!!  But, along the way, I ran into Bernice and Jose, who advised that Cazz had a horrible night of a stomach issues and she needed to go to the clinic for a shot and possibly IV drip to rehydrate. Dang! NOT good!

A few had been having some altitude adjustments and had been laying low on some of the outings but Cazz had it the worst. But she was a trooper and handled it with her humor, which she has tons of! Love that gal and her positive outlook on life. Being a breast cancer survivor already, not much but a great outlook on life ever escaped her lips!! You go girl!!

Seems the doctor wasted no time at all in treating and sticking her good in the rump because before we could finish breakfast, they were back and she was raring to go up the mountain!  She looked no worse for the ware but Bernice, her sister, was dragging butt!! Maybe she should have gotten a B12 while the doc was handing out drugs. LOL

Anyway, off we went back down the hill to the busses that would carry us up to the entrance. The ride up alone was worth getting there!! OMG, the stunning, soaring, lush, green mountains!! And, we got to see the sun rise over the mountains!! Beautiful lighting as we climbed up the mountain!

Once off the bus and a quick bathroom run, we entered the ruins deep in the Sacred Valley. Only 2,500 tourists daily are allowed and reservations must be made in advance. The mornings are the best time to go because you miss the bulk of the other tourists who arrive by train or the Inka Trail later in the day. I know we moaned and groaned about having to get up before dawn but it was sooooooo worth it!!

As we entered, there was a long path to follow first and then THERE IT WAS!!! And, I was instantly brought to tears, uncontrollable tears that ran down my face. And, I just let them. My chest was so tight with AWE!  It reminded me of the same way I felt when I visited the Grand Canyon the very first time. You can't see "THE" wonder of the world until you are right there in the midst of it.


As it came into view!

And, then it was THERE!

The mountain behind is Waynu Picchu, which only 400 get to climb a day. And, it's a treacherous climb!


The magnificence of what was created by this long ago culture is almost inconceivable!  To realize what intelligence, fortitude, and vision to create the Inka Trail that spans 6 countries and thousands of miles with a system of villages, towns, and cities and communication set up much like the Pony Express is phenomenal!!  What it took to build these all out of huge stone boulders with water/irrigation systems that rival modern times is mind boggling!!  Machu Picchu, itself, is thought to have housed 1,000 people.

Constant restoration is always visible. If they didn't maintain, it's said that MP would disappear again in a matter of 3 months taken over by the jungle.

A quiet moment of reflection together. Directly across the valley they found another Inka town a year ago.  New discoveries are being found all the time.

And, then the beauty of it....  Breathtaking !! You then realize that you're on TOP of a mountain and that everything was brought UP to the site carried and moved by hand and back breaking strength. Almost too much to imagine or comprehend!!  And, we were so fortunate to have perfect weather for our visit even though it's still rainy season. 

I know I'm rambling and sputtering but until you experience these wonders of the world IN PERSON, sorry, there's truly no way to express how they grab your soul. And, if they don't, you're not human or have lost all of your redeeming qualities you were initially supposed to be born with. No excuses. 

We moved from spot to spot eventually making it to the pinnacle height of the Sun Temple, with an ancient rock that was a sun dial and compass. To truly appreciate it's magnificence, it needs to be observed on the solstices of summer and winter when everything lines up exactly with the sun through the mountain peaks, the sun windows, and the rock. To this day, not everything is understood by modern man even with our supposed higher intelligence. Humpf!


Looking down!

The gals (missing a Linda).

Jose, our guide.
After several hours of explanation and history lessons, we were given a couple of hours to explore on our own. Mike wanted to climb more but I wanted to just let my mind and heart settle. So I sat for a bit and let it all sink in and mellow over me. Mike stayed to climb up to the Guard House and then over to the Inka Bridge. So enjoy more of his photos:


Another stunning ride back down the mountain by bus and I was quickly deposited at the edge of town. Still feeling shaken to the core by the experience, I decided to wander a bit through town up and down the pathways enjoying the beauty of this special location with the jutting mountains all around everywhere I looked, the massive rushing stream coming down out of the mountains right through town, to the beautiful sunny skies with puffy clouds!  

Because the shopping was incredible here also, I decided to sit myself in a restaurant on the main square up on the 2nd floor and drink a couple of cappuccinos and people watch while waiting for our appointed meeting time for lunch. Lunch was at Hot Springs II right along the train tracks and we all had lots to talk about from our visit up the mountain that morning.

See the snake water trench?

Everything delivered by hand carts when the train comes in.

We caught the train back to Ollantaytambo enjoying the ride all over again, and then onto our bus to take us back to Cusco for two more nights and a free day on Tuesday to explore more of that beautiful city.

So we just keep movin' on..... 

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