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South America » Peru » Cusco » Machu Picchu
April 30th 2015
Published: June 2nd 2015
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Early morning in Machu PicchuEarly morning in Machu PicchuEarly 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.


Additional photos below
Photos: 24, Displayed: 23


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Starting our climb upStarting our climb up
Starting our climb up

The summit of Huayna Picchu is in the background
No loose stones on this trail!No loose stones on this trail!
No loose stones on this trail!

It was amazing, given the fact that these steps are approximately 600 years old, that there were no loose stones and everything was perfect. The same cannot be said for the modern streets in various cities we've seen nor some of the other hiking trails we've travelled.
Summit of Montana Mountain!Summit of Montana Mountain!
Summit of Montana Mountain!

She doesn't even seem bothered, I on the other hand am wrecked thats why there aren't pictures of me on this post!
Summit of Huayna PicchuSummit of Huayna Picchu
Summit of Huayna Picchu

At the peak lies some more agricultural terraces
RoadblockRoadblock
Roadblock

Sandra is stuck behind some lamas who are hungry.
Backdrop of the cityBackdrop of the city
Backdrop of the city

As the sun is now climbing higher in the morning sky the different shades of green are starting to become more evident.
Building methodologyBuilding methodology
Building methodology

It was nice to see how the buildings were constructed, it looks as if two layers of rocks were used as the exterior and interior walls packed by dirt and mud for insulation and support.
Different sections of the cityDifferent sections of the city
Different sections of the city

The city was divided into various sections and areas, much like modern cities. Housing, storage, various temples, a guardhouse, a prison and even an astronomical observatory all made up this very functional city.
WallsWalls
Walls

When there was a stone that couldn't be moved, they built around.
Workmanship is a lost artWorkmanship is a lost art
Workmanship is a lost art

You have to wonder walking around what the Inca's would think of todays workmanship.
Close-up of the jointsClose-up of the joints
Close-up of the joints

You can't put a piece of paper between the stones, given these are 600 years old and the technology available at the time its truly remarkable feat.
How many stones do you see in this picture?How many stones do you see in this picture?
How many stones do you see in this picture?

Closest answer without going over gets a prize!
Inca drawbridgeInca drawbridge
Inca drawbridge

We started down this trail to see the famous drawbridge of the Incas, unfortunately vertigo set in for me due to the sheer cliff face and narrow path. Thankfully Sandra is unaffected by heights and was able to navigate the path.
HousesHouses
Houses

Many of the houses had 2 stories complete with staircase and hardwood floor.
Rooms with a view!Rooms with a view!
Rooms with a view!

The Inca's just wouldn't get planning permission today.
Town of Aguas CalientesTown of Aguas Calientes
Town of Aguas Calientes

Back in some civilzation and enjoying some well deserved comforts!


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