Published: August 19th 2012August 9th 2012
The first rays to touch Machu Picchu
Today we got on the train to travel up the Inca trail to Machu Picchu. The view was very pretty, and I was glad to see green again. We got up in the afternoon, and hopped on a bus up to Machu Picchu park. They limit the number of visitors to about 3000 per day, so you have to have your ticket ahead of time. Getting up there, we left the rest of the slowpoke group behind (good thing too, because they didnt even get through all of it) and took the extra guide for just us four.
The view was spectacular, and learning about the history was so fascinating. They have one temple, the sun temple, which has two windows- one sunlight comes in during the winter solstice (June 21) and the other during sunrise of the summer solstice (December 21). The stonework was incredible, and the unfinished parts a fascinating view into how it all was constructed.
Luckily, this time they had their own quarry right in the place, so they didnt have to bring it from another mountain. The residential area was like a maze, it was so complicated. A lot of the stonework was built
to resemble and give homage to the nearby mountains. Machu Picchu was built directly in the middle of the four surrounding mountains, one at each point of the compass. We explored until they kicked us out, eager to come back the next morning, bright and early to see the sunrise.
When we woke up at 4am to get going, Justin had a terrible fever and was not feeling well. I was very reluctant to leave him alone, but Olin offered to look after him since he wanted a break after the previous day´s exertions. Thus Gail and I ventured up together.I couldnt believe how long the line already was at 5am, and it was packed trying to get into the park.
We sat for a while and people watched, waiting for the sunrise (to get this specific shot that makes the mountains behind Machu Picchu look like a face-see pic), then hiked up to the sungate, where the light comes through on the winter solstice to shine on Machu Picchu. We spent a little more time exploring, but it quickly because such a madhouse there that we went on back, met up with the boys and headed back
down out of the valley.
There are more photos below