November 12th, 2006 – by: BrownSugarT86
And we made it! We woke up very early the fourth day. Around 4 am. The goal was to get to the entrance of the site before the other 10+ groups who were there as well. We weren't first but we were ahead of the pack. We first went to a site outside of Machu Picchu
to see the sunrise. Unfortunately it was too foggy to really see anything. But it was still nice to be up so early just enjoying the natural beauty of the Peruvian mountains.
When we finally got in, I was awe-struck. I couldn't believe I was finally in the place that I had heard so much about, the place my father told me he always wanted to go. The only thing that could have made it better would have been him being there.
exploring the grounds
Our guide gave us a tour around the place and showed us the most beautiful views. We had to opportunity to climb the very steep Machu Picchu moutain. I would have loved to but I new myself better. I would have freaked trying to come down. So me and one other guy opted out and just went up to the typical site where you can see Machu Picchu as a whole, the view that lines all the travel magazines. I was amazed to see the llamas roaming freely around the park. I even got to see a little fuzzy baby llama. Soo cute. It was a wierd feeling being there. I knew I was standing in a place so ancient. Yet seeing it dotted with tourists made it feel less... less sacred. It's great that people have to opportunity to visit such a special place, but part of me felt like I shouldn't be there, at least not like this.
Llamas live the good life
There was so much unknown history to the place. Some of the most royal of the Incas lived there hundreds of years earlier and I was there, taking pictures of such privledged ruins. But I guess if it keeps the memory of the place alive...
After our visit with Machu Picchu we ate an extremely overpriced lunch and took a bus down the mountain to a little town called Aguas Calientes. I had a chance to eat in a pretty nice restaurant and use the internet to email everyone and tell them how wonderful the trip was. I even went up to visit some hot springs. I was a little disappointed though. They were a bit pricey and not so clean as I would have thought/liked. But they still felt good on the bones after that long 4 day hike. After the hot springs we said goodbye to our guides and the porters and boarded a train that would take us back to Cusco
I can't say the train was super fast but it allowed us to see some more of the countryside and some of the people who live there. We finally made it back to Cusco after getting off the train early and catching an express bus into the city. I made it back to my original hostel and went to the same restaurant I had dined in previsouly. I had a huge soup, main course, drink and desert all for abour $3. Again, food was fabulous. I must say that Peruvians now how to through down in the kitchen. I took another long HOT shower once back in my room and passed out.
I woke up the next day to a surpise on my legs. I was dotted with the wierdest looking mosquito bites I have ever seen. There was a bright red tiny dot surrounded by a lighter pink circle. I had about 15-20. I was so careful to spray myself repeatedly but they still got me. I'm not sure how considering I woke up and they were just there. But whatever. I had jsut hiked to Machu Picchu.