Ciarán & Elaine's Travelog

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Machu Picchu

The big day has finally arrived and we`re off to visit Machu Picchu. We get the coach at 5.30am and on the way up the mountain we can see cloud forest so low that we can nearly touch it.

We reach the site at 6am but can`t see anything because the fog is so thick. Luckily after about 10 minutes the fog begins to clear and we get our first glimpse of Machu Picchu. It looks so mystical surrounded by the last of the fog and it feels amazing to be in such a beautiful place.

The sun came out and the day was scorching. The 3 hour tour of the ruins was excellent, our guide was really good and very proud of his Inca roots with lots of stories to tell. After the tour we had a few hours to wander around ourselves and we walked up to the sun gate from where there is a fantastic view of the whole area.

It`s impossible to describe Machu Picchu, it`s just one of those places that everyone should see at least once in their lives. The "Lost City of the Inca`s" really is a city, with living areas, agriculture areas, schools etc. It`s surrounded by tall mountains and looks like we`ve stepped back in time. The buildings are amazing, but the really wonderful thing I think is the way they built the temples. For example they worshipped the condor as a god and they have a temple which has the head of a condor carved in the centre and there are two huge boulders used as walls which look like the wings of the condor. Really hard to explain but just amazing to see. The Incas also used to worship the sun and the mountains too and after being there, you can really see why they would, because the place just feels so special - very magical. Its a testament to great Inca engineering that the place is still standing because over the years there have been many earthquakes in the area and it is still standing, while more modern buildings have fallen down.

It was a brilliant day, better than we could`ve hoped for and an experience we wont forget.

Travelled back to Cusco, looking forward to a lie in tomorrow after a week of 5am starts...


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