Thursday, June 13, 2013

Machu Picchu

The four days leading up to Machu Picchu were so full and rewarding that I'd almost forgot the real reason for the trek-to see Machu Picchu.  We arrived at the bus stop at 5am to be on the first of the 24 buses lined up to take people to the top of the mountain. We arrived shortly before 5am and there were already 20 people in front of us.  Women selling water, sandwiches and snacks walked the line selling their goods.  Hector had our bus tickets and it got closer and closer to 5:30am and he wasn't there yet.  Finally, when the buses started boarding he showed up and joined us.  There was no reason for him to join us so early because he knew we couldn't leave without him.

Once at the top of Machu Picchu we lined up yet again with our Machu Picchu ticket and passport in hand.   More and more buses arrived and people joined the line.  When groups coming up in the later buses tried to cut in front to join their friends, the crowd became upset.

Once inside it felt like a sprint.  We took a left up a single track trail that zigzagged up the hill to get to the top to see the sunrise over Machu Picchu and see the ruins without crowds of people. Our guide Hector had been to Machu Picchu many times and directed us to the best spots to take pictures and told us more of the Inca history.

 I had seen postcards with the llamas and Machu Picchu and thought the were fabricated to put the llamas in the pictures.  I was so surprised to see the llamas were actually there.

Machu Picchu is sinking and causing erosion of the structures.  Years ago there was discussion about stopping the tourists from visiting to preserve Machu Picchu but at the detriment of the countries economy. Without Machu Picchu, tourism would significantly drop along with all the money the tourists bring with them. 

 This is the bridge we crossed the day before when we hiked along the railroad tracks.

Machu Picchu truly was amazing and if you ever get an opportunity to take a trek and see it, go for it.


Johann said...

Really amazing indeed! I would love to visit there. You had a really awesome hike to get there.

Emily W said...

It's so exciting - great pics!