There are two options to get to the top of the mountain that holds up Machu Picchu- the rather expesnive bus or hundreds of steep stairs leading up the side. I once again chose the easy route. Planning to get up at 5am but accidentally “sleeping in” until 5:45am, I managed to arrive at 6am at the bus stop. The line already snaked around the block, but there was nothing for it but to grab a ticket and get in line. I made it up the mountain just as the sun crested the horizon, throwing an amazing soft light across the ruins and the valley. Ahhh, this is what all my efforts had been for; the hype was justified. The sheer cliffs and the intricate architecture were even more amazing in person. Even with the heavy crowds and the expense and my still aching feet, I was absoltely enchanted by the site.

Survey point

Survey point

It is apparently quite common for the ruins to be shrouded in fog and clouds first thing in the morning, but the travel gods were smilling on me and I got to see the place in glorious morning light. In the end I spent over 7 hours wandering around, even through a heavy rain storm that rolled in during the early afternoon. I had come prepared with a poncho and snacks and water and even a novel, so I would wander for a bit and then sit and do some people watching and then wander some more. It took quite a while to absorb that I was actually within the grounds of Machu Picchu, so I am glad I took my time. After heading back to Aguas Calientes I had some late lunch and then caught the train back to Cuzco. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

Sunrise on the mountain

Sunrise on the mountain

The road up

The road up

A segment of the Inca Trail

A segment of the Inca Trail

I picture the Inca as hobbit-sized based on their doorways

I picture the Inca as hobbit-sized based on their doorways

Beautiful! Gorgeous! Wish you were here! (sorry for the obscure Meg Ryan quote but I couldn't resist)

Beautiful! Gorgeous! Wish you were here! (sorry for the obscure Meg Ryan quote but I couldn’t resist)

The drawbridge.

The drawbridge.

Look, Ma! Ancient ruins!

Look, Ma! Ancient ruins!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

About Amy D. Nelson

Wanderer, hack writer, aspirational hobo, part time aerial surveyor, geologist, forester and whatever else I can do to pay for a plane ticket. Is that sentence fragmental enough?

Category

Uncategorized