Machu Picchu Travel Blog› entry 17 of 23 › view all entries
After a fantastic sleep we were up at 4.20am and when we went down stairs to check out we discovered that the hostal staff had got up earlier than their 5am start and put breakfast on for us.... excellent ... by 5am we were waiting near the front of the bus que, at 5.30 about 15 buses turned up and we boarded the second one and headed for the ruins. The bus in front of us stopped to pick someone up on the way and there was a cheer from everyone on ours as we now became the lead bus. We wound our way up the norrow roads in the dark, confident in the fact that our driver has probably negotiated the tight turns many times. As soon as we arrived Raul rushed us off the bus and hustled along between the ruins and up steps and finally to a long wall.
Then the sun began to rise, as it got close Raul explained with passion why we were where we were.
Raul then bustled us away, leaving the rest of the crowd to fight over our vacant positions. He then took us to a number if significant sites and explained in detail the ceremonial, archeological and astronomical meanings and theories, before leaving us to explore. Two hours flew by with all the information he shared.
There is so much to explain, and probably the reason so many books have been written, as even though we explored the far reaches of the site, including Intipunku "Sun Gate" and the Inca Draw Bridge, over another 7.5 hours we felt we only touched the surface.
Rual came into his own on today. Compared to the sometimes skant explanations were overheard from other guides he was outstanding. Giving us a number theories behind many of the sites along the way, and we were very priviliged to have had his expert guidance, or we are sure the experience we had would not have been as fantastic! The day exceeded our expectations and will always be the highlight of our trip.