Machu Picchu

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September 18th 2018
Published: October 1st 2018
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We are queuing for the bus by about 5:45am with hoards of other people. However they are all very polite and British and the line moves quickly. The wait for the bus about 45 minutes and the bus ride itself is only 25 minutes up a steep zigzag road with occasional passing lanes for buses coming the other way. After a quick pee (no toilets on site and if you leave you can’t re-enter) we enter the Machu Picchu site. It is very foggy and I am concerned we won’t get all those spectacular views. We had decided the night before not to go up to the Sun Gate for sunrise because of the condition of our group - the others not me that is! Our tour mates who walked the Inca trail tell us later that there was literally nothing to see as the mist was so low.

Our wonderful Marcia takes us around site as our tour guide Mike is still in Cusco with Heather who is in hospital. It is quite eerie the way the mist lifts then rolls in again but eventually it clears and we have amazing views of this huge site. Only a few hundred people lived here and the Spanish, during their invasions, never discovered it. I cannot describe it and photos do not do it justice.

We get to understand the purpose of the different buildings, how the different building standards were applied - temples having that incredible tight alignment of stones while the quarters for the pilgrims were much less finished. Llamas wander around the site, posing for and with the visitors.

We have about 5 hours exploring by which time the sun is well and truly up and shining down on us. We catch up with the members of our group who walked the Inca Trail and I know I picked the right option, with the shorter, but higher Quarry Trail. Most of them look like the living dead!

We head back down the hill for lunch and then the train to Ollantaytambo, and bus to Cusco. As we retrace our steps through this incredibly huge landscape, I reflect on the last four days which have been pretty damned special. I can understand how the explorers felt discovering this place, marvel at the fact we still don’t believe something is discovered until a European puts it in a map and admire the wonderful people here.that seem to go about their daily lives regardless of all he gaping tourists.

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