We reached Machu Picchu!!
Machu Picchu Travel Blog› entry 54 of 92 › view all entries
At 4.30am on Day 4 we were harshly awoken to mixed feelings: eventually our time had come to see Machu Picchu, but did I have to get up still feeling the effects of the night before and with a hangover impending?!
Of course the answer was yes and we set off on the relatively straight-forward last couple of hours treking, only to be frustrated in our attempts to make it there in good time by the much slower groups in front of us. Traditionally the rush is to make it to the Sun Gate to see the sunrise over the entire site, but even before we got there we knew that we weren´t going to be priviledged enough to enjoy this sight - it was after all another very misty day! Still, we climbed the extremely steep steps to the small but beautiful ruin that is the Sun Gate with some excitement and no idea what to expect, only to find a wall of mist limiting our vision to little more than 10 metres.
The first indication we were almost about to be able to see something was the few llamas casually grazing on some terraces, and then a little beyond we could vaguely make out some more terracing and general bits of ruins. It was enough to convince me that we must have made it, but the clouds were low and swirling round such that the vastness of the site could only be guessed at from the snatched shots seen on postcards before the trek had begun. One of the few things I could see was John, the one group member who instead of doing the Inca Trail had taken the train that morning and despite our extremely early start had still managed to get there ahead of us. I was somewhat disheartened!
Gradually though the mist that had settled all over the site began to clear, alowing us a gradually increasing view of the legend that was Machu Picchu.
The experience with the mist and clouds might have been a disappointment to some, but the way in which the majesty of the place was revealed to us I thought was added to its beauty as well as the understanding of how this place could have remained hidden from generations for 400 odd years.
Once the tour had ended I amde my way back up to where we had started, and as I waited for the clouds to clear once again got the view I had been hoping for the first time. It was great just to sit up there and contemplate the view and its grandness.
In total I spent about 6 hours at the site and waited until the very last minute to catch the bus down to Machu Micch village below where I had to meet up with my tour group. I could have stayed there all day, largely trying to capture with the camera the perfect shots that are so legendary but which would have been impossible without a clearer sky. I was kept entertained by a few large rodents - like a cross between a rat and a squirrel but much larger - which I discovered playing in some rocks on one of the more obscure parts of the site.