View from the hill!

View from the hill!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Machu Picchu at Last!

We were on our way up the breathtakingly steep final climb by 4am. For some reason I had not thought of the fact that it would be pitch black at that time in the morning so the first hour or so was a bit difficult, but luckily enough people around me had flash lights so I was able to get by using their light. The boys in our group decided to take the bus up, this was an option for only $8, but since I had made it this far I didnt want to take the easy way out, I wanted to walk all the way up to the top. I seperated from the others in my group early on because they were stopping often for breaks and I was determined to make it to the top before the first bus arrived.

The walk up was about an hour and a half of stairclimbing, the ultimate stairmaster! The steps were uneven and often extremly slippery. Just before 6am I reached the top drenched in sweat and starving. I was happy to learn that I was the 69th person to arrive (they count and give you a number because only the first 400 are granted access to WaynaPicchu) not bad seeing as though over 1000 people come to Machu Picchu every day. Shortly after arriving the first bus appeared (the buses leave around 4am too and take over an hour to drive to the top, this should give you an idea of just how far it is to the top!) and these well rested people lined up behind us with their coffee in hand.

After waiting in line for a while we were graned access into Machu Picchu and began our tour. The first view of the Sacred City was the most breath taking. We were extremly lucky in terms of the weather, it is almost impossible to see a sunrise over Machu Picchu due to the constant fog, but on Febrary 3rd 2011, there was a perfect sunrise and not a cloud in sight. We had blue sky and sunshine as we walked around the site learning about the Temple of the Sun, Royal Tomb, Sacred Plaza, ceremonial baths and more. My tour guide was not so great, but that didnt matter so much to me, I was able still able to take in my amazing surrounds even not knowing every last detail about the many aspects of the city.

Behind the ruins lies the steep-sided mountain of Wayna Picchu. Since I was one of the first 400 people I was able to complete the scramble up the steep path which towers over Machu Picchu. After huffing and puffing my way to the top I was granted one of the most incredible views in the world- machu picchu from above. After a snack from the rocks on top of this moutain and many amazing photo opps it was time to make our way back down on the long trek back to Aguas Calliente. Afterall the hot springs were calling our names...

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