Machu Picchu

The 3:30 a.m wake up call was pretty brutal for us. By 4:15 we had loaded our bus and were winding our way up into the mountains. A few hours later, just after sunrise we made it to the village we were would catch our train. We rode on Inka Rail, a nice train full of international tourists; all on the way out to the site together. We were seated across from an Asian man with the largest camera I have ever seen. He did not stop taking pictures the entire ride. Once we arrived in the village, we walked to the bus depot and boarded a bus that took us up the 13 switchbacks to the top of the Mountain (this took about another 20 minutes). It was about 10:00 am by the time we were free to roam around the ruins and hike up steps to the lookout.

Visiting Machu Picchu was breathtaking.

We hadn't imagined that this would be somewhere we would get to visit, and when we did, it astounded us. The mountains are so steep and the intricacy of the ancient buildings stands out so boldly. Even in the high season, you barely stop to notice all of the tourists at the top because the view is so captivating.

There are several levels to climb and walk around, and an open field full of llamas where people lay out and rest. I didn't want to climb down from the higher lookouts- we could have stayed perched there all day just looking out.

We shamelessly took hundreds of pictures that morning trying to capture every part of it the place.

Most of us broke away from our tour guide pretty quickly, but as we walked back down into the main ruins we tagged back on to her tour for awhile. We walked through the homes, learned more about how many people had lived there, how they met their demise, and who rediscovered the site. The entire morning was even more fascinating considering the crowds of tourists from all over the world - talk about prime people watching! 

We met our group to come down the mountain and ate lunch along the river before traipsing back through the market, boarding the train, and heading back the way we came from - right across the aisle from the same Asian man (he got a kick out of it too). 

Matt and I used our early evening to eat pizza (I was a bit leery of the cuisine after a few slow starts), choose a few last souvenirs, and pack up our suitcases. We caught up on the royal baby and papal visit on CNN, then tried to get as much sleep as we could before the long day ahead.

As much as enjoyed our unique Peruvian experience, the sickness especially made us excited to be back home. Tuesday we flew back to Lima and drove to the Hotel Senorial to pick back up our bags and check into rooms to rest and clean up. We walked to the mall for lunch on the beach, found a cute store with the perfect Christmas ornament to commemorate our trip, and rested in our room until it was time to leave at 7 pm. We split from our Texan group and took the redeye back to Atlanta. We made it back to Austin Wednesday tired, happy to be home, and thankful for such an incredible experience. Our first stop on Continent number 5 was a success!

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1 comment:

  1. Can't believe I'm just now getting around to reading these posts, but it's just amazing! Your trip was so full!! Glad you're home safe with plenty of memories!! Hope your business trip went well - I'm sure you're glad to be home again! :)