Ok, it's o'dark thirty and we were up in the dark trying to get organized to be one of the first at the checkpoint to enter Machu Picchu. Once the site opens at 5:00 am, we hiked on to the Sun Gate where we were to get our first fantastic views of Machu Picchu. What they don't tell you is that on a typical morning Machu Picchu is concealed my fog/clouds. That was a disappointment and there were too many people gathered at this small area. We continued on to the next opportunity for an overlook...the fog was lifting. As we stood there, Machu Picchu revealed itself to us. Eddy also revealed a box of red T-shirts emblazoned with the LlamaPath logo...we were more than willing to advertise what had proven to be a great outfitter.
On arrival to Machu Picchu we began a two hour guided tour of the site during which learned about the Incas and visit all the most important areas of the citadel. Quite frankly, I was suffering from the amazing time on the Inca Trail and this was a very crowded, hot tourist site. If this was the off season, I can't imaging the middle
of June when there is the winter solstice, when all the Inca mathmatics and building orientaion is exhibited...must be crazy!!!
After our tour, everyone else had some free time and then a train and bus ride back to Cusco. Fortunately, Phil had arranged for us to stay an additional day in Aguas Calientes, the small town at the bottom of the switch back Hiriam Bingham roadway. We planned to climb Huayna Picchu the next morning and spend more time in Machu Picchu. Little did we know...what a great plan. We had gotten up so early and I was a little
really strained by the crowds. This gave me a chance for taking a nap and meet up with our group for a farewell beer down in Aguas Calientes.
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