Monday, March 01, 2010

South America Trip - Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu was the highlight of our South American trip. It was incredible. The Incas built this city deep in the jungle on the top of a ridge high up in the Andes. The scenery was the most spectacular we saw and the city itself was a masterpiece.

The peak in the background is Huayna Picchu and there is a trail that goes to the top of it. We wanted to climb it but they limit the number of tourists and we would have had to get up at 3:00 am to have a chance. We decided not to ruin our day and just enjoy Machu Picchu instead.

All week we were worried about the weather. Since it is the rainy season we could have had rain all day. We lucked out! We had a couple hours of sunshine in the morning and no rain until mid afternoon when we were ready to leave anyway. 2 weeks later the region had record flooding and the entire area is going to be closed for months.

The Incas built a trail along the backside of the mountain that threads along a cliff. Walking next to a 1000' drop off made our hearts skip a few beats.

The original entrance to Machu Picchu is through the Sun Gate via the Inca trail. We hiked up the Inca trail to get a view of the city from the Sun Gate.
Just as we sat down to enjoy the view the rain moved in telling us it was time to go.
We descended almost straight down 2500 feet to the river below.

Machu Picchu is a place I'll never forget. The Inca really showed their skills in building that city. Lucky for us the Spanish Conquistadors never found it, so it was never compromised.


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