Thursday, April 26, 2012

Inca Trail - Day 4, Machu Picchu!

It was the end of the trail and the day of days! Our morning started early: 3:30am!!! The hike would only be a little over 3 miles. The highlights of the morning include going up the "Gringo Killers" which were a set of very steep, large steps that required using both hands and feet. After the last 3 days, they were nothing. Shortly after that, I arrived at the Stone Gate which is where you get your first glimpse of Machu Picchu.

I honestly thought it looked pretty small, but that must have been due to the distance. When we arrived in Machu Picchu, it was anything but small. There was initially quite a bit of fog in the area which made it almost impossible to see just how many stone buildings were in the place. 

There were tourists in the area who had been bussed over, and I have to say we were all feeling proud of the trek we accomplished. It probably helped that they were all asking us about it. I was also very happy thrilled to be able to get to a clean restroom! Sure, it cost to go in, but I just did not care. I went in and washed my hands and face, and it was lovely. After that little celebration, it was time to celebrate with some food. 
Ice Cream! Matt, Ines, and Mary
And for those of you keeping track of my no more concentrated sweets journey, I did not, in fact, eat any ice cream. I did, however, have a nice bold brew.

Despite the short hike, this would be the longest day of the trip! Who knew? We spent hours walking around Machu Picchu while Gerson gave us all the details. 

I cannot begin to describe how impressive all those buildings were that the Incas created. Firstly, it was all built on a rather large mountain that would make plenty of people feel a little woozy. Secondly, the stone work was amazing. Thirdly, they created terraces for growing food and had small channels all over the pace for running water! If I had been around in the 1400s (the time of the Incas), I would have been all about living in such as nicely engineered and beautifully constructed place! (Just don't go sleep walking because that would make for one very bad night.)

Amazing Inca stone work - look 'Ma,
no power tools!
Running water channels all over the mountain

Nothing like a beautiful common area on top of
How does your garden grow?

It is a loooong way down.
The Incas were beyond amazing when it came to engineering and architecture. I had no idea I would be so impressed or that Machu Picchu was so incredibly large.

After hiking around for hours in the rain up and down many, many steps (I know I mentioned that the Incas love steps), it was time for a yummy dinner and then a long bus ride back to Cusco. Saturday would be a rest day. (Yes, I had a day off on my vacation, is that so wrong?) :-) On Sunday, we began our journey to the Amazon Rainforest. How cool does that sound?! 

No comments:

Post a Comment