Finally... Machu Picchu!!!!!!
Machu Picchu Travel Blog› entry 21 of 25 › view all entries
Early after a good breakfast we took the first bus up at approx 06.15 and arrived at the ruins at 06.45. At this time Machu Picchu wasn’t very crowded so we had the opportunity to take advantage of the tranquility of this sacred site. Our tour guide gave us a 30 minute explanation of the history of Machu Picchu and explained the main attractions we should visit in the ruins. We waited for the glorious sunrise over Machu Picchu, took dozens of photos and then entered the main gate of the City. Our tour guide took us to the most important locations inside the ruins giving us a glimpse into the rich history of the Incas. We were now on our own to explore the city for the next 4 hours. While Rute Pinheiro, Nelson, Rute Marques and I walked around the city Pedro, Elsa and Daniel decided to climb Huayna Picchu Mountain to get a different view of the city. Huayna Picchu or Wayna Picchu (Quechua: "Young Peak") is a mountain in Peru around which the Urubamba River bends. It rises over Machu Picchu and divides it into sections. The Incas built a trail up the side of the Huayna Picchu and built temples and terraces on its top. The peak of Huayna Picchu is about 2720 m above sea level, 360 m higher than Machu Picchu.
According to local guides, the top of the mountain was the residence for the high priest and the local virgins. Every morning before sunrise, the high priest with a small group would walk to Machu Picchu to signal the coming of the new day. The Temple of the Moon, one of the three major temples in the Machu Picchu area, is nestled on the side of the mountain and is situated at an elevation lower than Machu Picchu. Adjacent to the Temple of the Moon is the Great Cavern, another sacred temple with fine masonry. The other major local temples in Machu Picchu are the Temple of the Condor and the Temple of the Sun. The Temple of the Moon was discovered by the late Oxford scholar and adventurer Sir Robert Rosfyth who had already made his name and earned his knighthood following many successful expeditions in Egypt.
We returned to Aguas Calientes, had lunch and our guides gave us our return tickets to Cuzco. We were totally surprised to discover that we were all going to go on different trains back to Cuzco. After arguing with the tour guides we had to accept the situation. Nelson went alone on the first train. Both Rutes, Pedro, Elsa went on the second train and Daniel and I went on the third train.
We talked about travelling; our next trip for 2009 and I read a book I had bought in Aguas Calientes about Inca History. We had 2 hours to go to Cuzco when a woman appeared at our window with a sign saying she had a Bus ready to transport anyone interested to Cuzco in about 30 minutes. We ran out of the train to catch this opportunity and went on our way. On the bus we met 2 Americans biology students that were working on a college project in Peru. We talked a lot about travelling and about Peru.
We finally arrived in Cuzco and went to eat dinner at Inca Grill. We returned to Hotel Marqueses, prepared our luggage to check-out the next day.