Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu Travel Blog

 › entry 17 of 23 › view all entries
our first view from the view as we entered

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.

the first light
Instructed us to make sure that we did not move from here or give up our vantage point. We weren't entirely sure why there was so much of a rush or why we needed to be concerned however it didn't take long before others arrived and were envious of our position. As we waited for the sun rise Raul began to explain the history of the Machu Picchu, it's discovery by farmers and then the French before an expitidition from the US really got into it. While they put a lot of resource into uncovering the city with the consent of the Peru government, they also took a lot of the treasures to the US / Peru are still negotiating with the US for their return. 

Then the sun began to rise, as it got close Raul explained with passion why we were where we were.

the rising sun
We had front row seats to a very significant event in the Inka calendar...the Winter solstice. The beginning of their new year! We were standing right in line wit the Temple of the Sun, which is the only circular building in the city, with a window that lined up perfectly with the sun when it appears of the distant mountain range. All flames in the kingdom were extinguished the day before and this new light was used to ignite a new flame which would then be passed by virgins around the kingdom *sadly for us there was no lighting of a flame or virgins* We watched as the sun drew closer, first lighting Machu Piccu, then Wayna Picchu and then the first ray of sun broke over the mountain and straight through the trapezoidal  temple window onto the alter.
nearly here
.. it is hard to explain how this felt at the time but it is an event that neither of us will forget I'm sure. It was also followed by a lot of pushing and jostling from the crowd behind as they tried to gain a view even half as good as we had!

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.

  

drksecret says:
That sounds amazing!!
Posted on: Jun 22, 2008
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
our first view from the view as we…
our first view from the view as w…
the first light
the first light
the rising sun
the rising sun
nearly here
nearly here
what light thru yonder window brea…
what light thru yonder window bre…
the winding track home
the winding track home
Machu Picchu
photo by: NazfromOz