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Machu Picchu- what?

PERU | Friday, 29 June 2007 | Views [1557] | Comments [2]

As an extremely last-minute plan (12 hours prior to leaving), I ended up deciding to see Machu Picchu! No Inca Trail, no hiking, just the day tour. I actually did not even want to see it. I figured I had better things to spend USD$150 on, but went right ahead- mostly to appease the other backpackers who were horrified that I wasn´t going, partly because I had learned in Huacachina that sometimes if you do things you don't want to, you end up having a really cool time.

So off I was. On 3 hours of sleep and 2 pieces of dry toast, I set off for the 5-hour train ride. That part alone was incredible; we rode through the red-roofed clay/mud houses that outline Cusco, miles of mountainous pastures and farmland, and eventually vine-covered jungle enclosed in a valley. Hopped off, bus for half and hour up the mountain, then a 15-minute hike with your tour group. I was not anticipating such a short hike, and when I turned the corner it literally took my breath away.

On a ridge, we stood overlooking the lost city of the Incas. In almost perfect condition sits an entire city that once housed 500 important people, religious ceremonies, and spiritual centers. It was the one place that the Spanish couldn´t find when conquering Peru, and was not even discovered until 1911, when an American doctor was leading an expedition through the forests and came upon a small hut (which housed a family escaping the tax-collectors by moving to the forest). The family offered to show him the city, without having any idea what it would mean.

We toured surrounding areas and eventually the city itself, seeing domestic houses, places of worship and offering to Pachamama (mother earth), sacred ritual places, and incredible architecture. It was incredible.

Overall, I would say I am 120% satisfied with the decision to see this before leaving Peru. It totally blew me away. It really makes you think, too, hearing about all the incredible spiritual things that happened here, and the history of the place and its inhabitants. It was a beautiful experience.

Where to next? Nightbus tonight to Puno, Peru, and probably followed by another nightbus (UGH...that means 2 nights without sleep) to Bolivia somewhere! I'm thinking La Paz. Anywho, happy travels!

PS: Did you know the bars in Cusco are packed to the brim at 12 every night of the week, and don't stop until 4 at least? Just some info for those intending on visiting.

PS Anyone who wants to see pictures is going to have to get an account at Facebook.com because Photobucket is waaay too slow! So if you have/get an account, search for Kirsten Roche (yes, no underscores or secret names, just look for my name in the search bar at the top!)

Tags: adventures

Comments

1

Sounds awesome my girl. It was good to hear your voice today. This is a huge adventure for you. Everytime I read your journal I wish I was with you. Love you xoxoxo, take care

  Mommy Jun 29, 2007 6:11 AM

2

Hiya, there is a World Nomads group on Facebook that you may wish to join too.
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2602615796

Machu Picchu is top of my list of destinations to got to!

Happy Travels

  stowaway Jul 13, 2007 11:21 AM

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