Early morning in Machu Picchu
Was another early start to see the Inca city at dawn prior to the impending invasion!
When Emperor Pachacuit Inka announced around 1450 that his people needed a new city to link the Andes and the Amazon and set forth his city planners and real estate agents to find the perfect place, few can agrue about the impressiveness of the result. Machu Picchu has a truly impressive location, and whoever climbed those mountains to find its future site I hope received a promotion!
We hiked into the scared city by the Salcantay Trail, which lucky for us can still be done independently though I doubt this will last too much longer. The 4 day trek had some beauitful scenery, but its what lies at the trail end that is truly remarkable. Machu Picchu has been constructed on the dizzying slopes overlooking the Rio Urubamba, wherever you stand in the ruins, spectacular terraces can be seen slicing across the ridiculously steep cliffs, transforming these mountain sides into suspended gardens.
The atmosphere as we wandered around, drinking in the buildings, temples and the backdrop of the forested mountains and the deep valleys is second to none. Its easy to see why this is one of the continents most popular tourist attractions, and later that morning we found
out just how popular it was as the hordes appeared from their air conditioned coaches.
Given most of the site is around 600 years old, its mind boggling witnessing what these people accomplished with the limited technology available to them and the skill, innovation and intelligence they incorporated into their home.
The Peruvian government claims that Machu Picchu, "represents a masterpiece of art, architecture and engineering in perfect harmony with nature and is the most important legacy the Inca civilization left to mankind." Hard to disagree.
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