Machu Picchu

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January 18th 2007
Published: January 25th 2007
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Machu PicchuMachu PicchuMachu Picchu

This is not a postcard....I actually took this.
The morning came early, as they usually do, and we were awoken by someone pounding on next door. It was a good thing since I set our alarm an hour off. Scott had a shower that alternated between scalding hot and cold, so I elected to skip the fun. We walked to the bus station and waited as we were a little early. Scott and I were getting frustrated having to wait for a guide. When the guide showed up he said to get on the bus and we would meet at the top of the mountain. The bus ride is a half hour of switch back turns up the side of the mountain. Not scary even though it was rainy and muddy. Once the guide got the group together it was apparent that we were lied to when asked the size of the group. I was told 8-10 people, while this group was about 30. It did make it annoying that the guide would start talking prior to everyone's arrival at the viewing sites. It rained on us for the first couple of hours pretty steady. I am happy to say our bootlegged (China) North Face jackets held up well. As we started the tour at the top opposite the peak of Huayna Picchu, it became apparent the rain and the fog were going to ruin the photo opportunities. We just hoped it would clear like the day before. Our guided tour ended after about three hours and then we were able to explore on our own. The weather had cleared up to the occasional fog and sprinkle so the picture taking opportunity time had arrived. We basically walked the entire site again twice. The second time after the sun finally showed and I wanted the money shot from the top section, a shot I had taken in the fog early. Machu Picchu is everything we imagined it would be: relatively intact Inca ruins in a remote location in the Andes. Saying it that way makes it sound trivial, but it isn't. Instead it is breathtaking and a must see. The one part that takes away from the site was the hordes of people touring it. Scott gets cranky about it, but one must realize all the tourists are what enable the infrastructure to allow for easy access for us. After spending six hours at Machu Picchu we were ready to head to Aguas Calientes for lunch. We ate lunch and then toured the junk shops again while waiting for the train then bus back to Cuzco. This afternoon when it started to pour rain I thought of the tourists that had started their tour as we finished our day. Hope they were prepared.

Additional photos below
Photos: 70, Displayed: 23


Amazing stone workAmazing stone work
Amazing stone work

It is so tight I am not sure dental floss could slide between.
Machu PicchuMachu Picchu
Machu Picchu

Under the tree is where a gold bracelet was found. It is the only gold ever found at Machu Picchu, since the city was deserted and all things of value taken with them as the Inca's relocated.
Compass stoneCompass stone
Compass stone

Shaped like the Southern Cross, the higher side points South and the low side is North.

Functions as a sundial, compass, astronomical and agricultural calendar.
Looking through the windowLooking through the window
Looking through the window

At the Three Window Temple
Temple of the Three Window sTemple of the Three Window s
Temple of the Three Window s

The stones in this temple helped represent the three stages of life, the highest stone representing the afterlife.

It looks like a rabbit but has the tail of a squirrel.

28th January 2007

Great pics! What is the elevation up there? It is really a beautiful site! Thanks for sharing with us. C
29th January 2007

At Machu Picchu it is only 7,800 feet, at Cuzco it is over 11,000 feet.

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