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Machu Pichhu

PERU | Friday, 5 May 2006 | Views [2403] | Comments [3]

my national geographic photo

my national geographic photo

<p>Well, 2 months into my stay here in Cusco, I made it to Machu Pichhu. After much negotiation and delay, I arranged to go with a friend- guide (who I quickly learned is a much better friend than guide), and another girl, Chetana,  from the states.</p>

We take the bus Monday, May Day, to santa maria, about 7 hours, arrive eat a quick lunch, it´s a one street wild west-jungle town. We hop in  a very full combi l to santa theresea, where a man curiously starts asking me about the recent protests in the states with regards to immigrants, and at the time, he knew more than me, for sure. The weather was getting incerasingly warmer and more muggy as we wind through the jungle.

We arrive around 5pm, get dropped off in the middle of the road and start poking around for the trail down to the hot springs where we plan to spend the night. get directions start the walk after buying dinner... which was in fact very elaborate tuna sandwiches (and the wine we brought from cusco).  takes us awhile to negotiate the path, and we recognize our arrival by the sound of voices splashing in water below. After a brief encounter with a fear of heights on the part of Chetana,  not spoken about until the heat of the moment, we make it eventually.

We arrive, the dark prevents us from knowing exactly who and how many people are around,  but its all very  lovely nonetheless, even in the dark.  To our luck, by 8pm, everyone leaves we are the only tent left standing.</p>

<p>finish our dinner, wine, take advantage of being alone and haveing hot springs at our feet, literally....</p><p>get to bed , </p><p>next day Im up at 530 taking a morning swim before the activities of the day get underway. wander over to the river... very nice</p><p>around 8 drinking good sweet coffee breaking down camp, and we are off... hike about 1 hour until we reach the river, which requires crossing by bucket cable car. very fun zip line</p><p>on the other side we wait for a truck to change its tire and fill with passengers before it helps us up the hill.. pick up many more travellers along the way and get dumped at the tracks after 45 mins.. where we proceed to start walking for 8 km, 3 hours to aquas calientes.. hour before the town we get  the relief of stable ground under our feet...</p><p>get crankier and crankier as we wind around the backside of MP and Waynu Pichu is right there, so close yet so far.. the mountain that seperates the jungle from the sierra.</p><p>we arrive in aguas around 3pm.. having decided to change our plan and do MP the next day...</p><p>aguas, a town completely constructed for tourism.. did not exist 20 years ago.</p><p>we find our hostal, a brief respite before haggling with a slew of restuarants to get the best deal on a big pizza, lemonade and garlic bread lunch. play chess while we wait. pepe´makes it clear right away that he knows what he´s doing. food is great.rest of the day is full of business, email, ticket buying, market cruising, etc. we have a low key night and are in bed by 10.. only to rise a few hours later.

</p><p>530 we are on the road to MP, it´s about an hour hike up up up, where the road winds like a snake we take the crows path. and reward ourselves with breakfast at the top. the vista is beautiful, pure jungle, magnificent little flowers everywhere and birds singing away.</p><p /><p /><p /><p />

although we were not intime for the sunrise, as we foolishly thought was possible, we arrived before the crowds, with enough time to meander our way through the various rooms, terraces and sanctuaries. inca super computer, sacred rock.. at 11am we left to ascend Waynu Pichhu (young mountain)a steep 45 minute climb up many many serious inca stairs. the mountain in the backround of all the famous photos of the site.

however the reward was worth the struggle.. that and passing by an 89 year old japonese man on his way out...

a magnificent 360degree view of the jungle, the ruins, the snaky river down below.., it´s all right there. and the wonder is that someone found this spot and decided to call it home, amidst all the surrounding dense land.

funny thing happened.. I overheard this guy comment to his group, regarding a pile of dung that was nearby ¨It must be feces of some animal, but I dont know what.. maybe a giant rabbit.. ha haha.¨ I turn and say to him in english, which I dont think he was expecting, ¨that, oh that´s from a llama.¨ Its only really funny because it was quite obvious, there are no other animals in sight, except llamas... and maybe he hasnt  been in peru long enough to learn that there arent any rabbits, let alone, deer, bears, or other animals that could possibly have left such an obvious pile.

We get our fill of all marvelous nooks and crannies, and by 3pm when we are heading out, we are battling through hordes of groups, young and old shuffling through the site. It was time, our peace was over.

We hike back, down, thankfully, eat a much needed lunch, and I rush to catch my 420pm train to Ollanta, where I hop a combi to Cusco.

8pm, I´m home, hot shower, soothes my bug bitten, bruised  body. Sleep washes over me without hesitation.

For all my casual treatment of Machu Pichhu as a site, that maybe I´ll visit... it slapped me in the face magically. However I can also say that not having taken my time to get to know Cusco, a bit of Inca history, other sites, etc, I would not have had the same level of appreciation. But my time came, and all said and done, a beautiful experience. 

Tags: Adventures




Your trip sounds amazing!
Me and my fiance are in Srequipa just now and are on the way to Cuzco. We will most probably arrive in around 5'6 days.
I would like to ask you if you could me give a contact to the guide you were with in MP. We dont want to go with a touri group, we prefere to make a individual trail to Machu Picchu.
Thank you

  Helena May 13, 2006 11:37 AM


que buena historia. estoy bien celosa, chica!

  aria May 23, 2006 12:58 PM


I'm also jealous of you. I lived in Santa Cruz, Trinidad Bolivia for a year and a half. I know La Paz and the Lake Titicaca as well as Tuiunacu( Im sure I butcherd the spelling). I dream of going to MP. It fascinates me how the incas built this fantastic city surrounded by those mountains. (imagine what their calve musculos looked like, he,he) I would love to get a glimse of what it looked like back then. to see if it was a training ground for preistess or just a thriving religious center. It's fantastic. Lucky you.

  April May 23, 2009 12:08 AM



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