When I set out to do this trip of wonder, learning, and the truly amazing place of Peru in specific , and the Andes in particular… little did I guess that the internet would not be on my side! The first thing to suffere is always the plan.!!!! So I wrote out a blog for you when I was at Machu Picchu, but it would not publish. In fact none of us were able to publish our blogs… the internet at the fabulous hotel was toooooooo slllllooowwwww. My tablet will not connect with hotel here in Cusco so I am retyping it! Now I am back in the United States so I will start blogging in earnest to catch up! 🙂 I really want to tell you about everthing at once, but I will do a number of posts so I can attempt to do justice to all that I have seen and experienced. Here is a bit about Machu Picchu….
Arriving in Agua Caliente – (meaning ‘Hot Water’ .. there are hot springs somewhere) What is there???? There is a train station that brings people from many places in Peru to this town. There are LOTS of places everywhere to buy LOADS of cheesy souvenirs (I have decided that I like the cheesy little llamas), but hold yourself back from buying things that are globalized and mass produced and go to places to buy things from the people who actually make them!!!
Keeping you in suspense, with a big smile, I took the bus with a guide UP a switchback road to one of the places you must try to come one day… Machu Picchu… Land of the Great Inca. When you say ‘the Inca’ It is like saying “the King”. At the entrance gate we had to show our passport or national ID and then if we wanted we could stamp our passport with a Machu Picchu stamp… We were after all entering in part of the heart of the Incan Empire.
The lens I am using is an inexpensive fisheye so you see the vignette, but it gives you a much better idea of size.
My first moments past the gate at Machu Picchu. Keep in mind that people can now take a bus up switchbacks to reach the main area. There is still PLENTY of climbing and lots to do. There are people that still hike in. Getting here for sunrise is better served in August or a bit earlier… although we are in spring in Peru (here below the equator) sunrise was just as the park gate opens… giving another 10 mins we might have seen sunrise so the next day. I didn’t get up at 4am for the sunrise attempt.
The Incans and their descendants, the Andean people were… are… amazing terracing designers of cities, farms, and roads. Many of the Incan ‘roads’ are still in uses and are known as The Incan Trail. Terrace farming is practiced in many places due to the basic need of farming on a slanted mountainside. There are complicated irrigation systems and crop rotation patterns dating to Incan times that are still used and practiced.
I have many many more photos of Machu Picchu for another day and post. After two days in Agua Caliente and Machu Picchu we took the train towards Urubamba to our next hotel. More on this later.!!! Hugs to one and all ! I will endeavor to do better on posting over the next few days and when I get home so I can fill you in on all the happenings!
Best to you,