“I had long time wanting to go there but I never thought it would be what it was, that it was going to made me feel like I felt. And that trip from out of the sleeve was worth much more than I thought. I entered and there was mist covering everything, but from time to time it cleared, and without the mist, or even with her, everything was beautiful. And yes, without more, Machu Picchu is one of the most amazing things I’ve seen. It felt strange being there, but good strange. I felt like I did not exist. It was so beautiful, so magnificent, that I felt invisible.”
That was what I wrote just after arrived from Peru in my blog, in the post What I felt when I saw Machu Picchu. And that’s what I keep feeling now, even after walking around some parts of Europe and Africa, Machu Picchu, is one of the most amazing things I’ve seen. And I think it is a place you should not hesitate to go.
We woke up at 5am and headed to the bus that would take us to Machu Picchu. It’s a brutal climb that you can do on foot. The road is very narrow and sometimes you think the bus will crash and you will fall into a tailspin. There are many people waiting to get in, waiting to see what you all want to see; the “Old Mountain”, Machu Picchu.
Aldo, Diosy and I decided to hire a guide to really know about Machu Picchu as we trod it. He told us that the Incas were very wise and they saw the future in the cosmos. They anticipated the arrival of the Spaniards and abandoned Machu Picchu. He told us they took their gold with them to another place, along with their civilization and this is known as “El Dorado” (this is a myth). Our guide’s name was Edgar, he ranted about the Spaniards saying they were liars, traitors and thieves for what they did years ago to the Incas. He also explained how Machu Picchu was found: because it is a bit tricky to climb this mountain and reach the Inca city, the Spaniards never found it, it was until Hiram Bingham came about in 1908.
Since we arrived very early in the morning, we could see Machu Picchu waking up. We saw how the clouds passed between the ruins and cleared up only to be recapped again. I enjoyed seeing THAT moment, see how the fog played with the mountains. As we walked through what remains of Machu Picchu, Edgar told us what we wanted to hear. He explained about why the structures were like that and about this and that. He told us that Machu Picchu has the shape of a condor, and that the Incas believed that it was immortal. Edgar took pictures of us and we talked about his country. We saw llamas running and we finally got to the entrance of what would lead us to Huayna Picchu; that mountain that is behind in almost every MP photos, and we were about to climb it.
You must book (and pay) in advanced in order to do this, every day only a small group of people can climb it. You can see people clad in their hiking gear. I, of course, was not wearing any of this. I dressed in my Aladdin pants, some tennis shoes, my very Mexican shirt and a bag in which I carried my heavy camera. “Pff!How hard can it be?” I thought, and I mean… it was not extremely difficult but the altitude gets to overwhelm you and it makes you have thoughts like “How cool would it be if I were able to teleport or fly.” Yes, it was a little bit tiring and my knee hurt a little while climbing it but it was worth doing it: the view was magnificent.
You could see how people moved through the ruins, you could see mountains behind more mountains and clouds nearer you. We were up there for a moment, we took pictures and sat down to see the majesty that confronted us. After a while, we decided to go down. The descent was less tiring than the climb but a bit rough. At the end we made it and we went back to the ruins. We went walking around, seeing a little more. Before we left we sat down to watch one last time, trying to fill us of whatever’s there that makes you feel something in you… and so we parted.
Machu Picchu is beautiful, it is magic… but, Is it worth it? TOTALLY!