The Petryk's Round-The-World Adventure 2007/2008 travel blog

....Huayna Picchu (Young Peak)....

....structures at Machu Picchu....

....views from up above down the valley....

....another view of Young Peak....

....yet another view of Huayna Picchu....

...."the main square"....

....step-like altar of the Royal Tomb beneath the Temple of the Sun....

....view of the site with Young Peak in the background....

....Temple of the Sun & Royal Tomb....

....a chinchilla just hangin' out....

....the quarry....

....view of the Rio Urubamba far below the Sacred Plaza of Machu...

 

....Temple of the Three Windows....

 

....the Temple of the Condor....(1)

....the Temple of the Condor....(2)

....the Temple of the Condor....(3)

 

 

....a mossy pathway....

....clouds rolling in....

....Barb & Nick up above the site....

....Hut of the Caretaker of the Funerary Rock....

....the local llamas....

....he's so cute!!!....

....mom keepin' an eye on junior....

....the gang on our way up the Inca Trail....

....looking back at the Hut of the Caretaker of the Funeray Rock....

....Aguas Caliente far down below in the valley....

....Barb & Nick in the clouds....

....Nick, Cecilia and Alan...Trudi and Carol....

....the long and winding road up the mountain to Machu Picchu....

....Machu Picchu far below the Inca Trail....

....Machu Picchu...what a site to behold....

....approaching Intipunku...the Sun Gate....

....another local llama....

....Nick at the Sun Gate....

....Barb at the Sun Gate....

....Trudi and Carol..."we made it" !!!....

....Barb and the llama....

....not sure who is more surprised?....

....view down the terraced side of the mountain....

....another view of Machu Picchu....

....some flowers on the way back down....

....an ancient Inca rest stop....

....one more look!....

...another pic of Huayna Picchu....

....a lonely llama....

....back in Aguas Caliente in the town square....


Well here it is, the day that we are finally going to see Machu Picchu, the lost Inca city...except for a few Quechua indigenous people, no one knew of the location of Machu Picchu until an American historian by the name of Hiram Bingham stumbled upon the ruins that were overrun with forest growth in 1911....the ruins stretched out in front of us as we entered the site with our local guide Wagner, a veritable fountain of knowledge regarding all things Inca and Machu Picchu....in fact whenever archaeologists meet to discuss their findings with respect to the lost city, Wagner is usually invited to participate...we took in the grandeur of Machu Picchu including the main meeting area with a lone tree in its vast expanse, reaching for the sky, a natural rock cave that has a carved altar which is known as the Royal Tomb, although no ancient bodies were ever found there, the Temple of The Sun just above the Royal Tomb, the quarry from where some of the rock for these ancient ruins was taken, the Sacred Plaza with its incredible view of the Rio Urubamba Valley far below, the Temple of the Condor which has a symbolic condor head and body carved in the floor of the rock and two huge boulders representing its wings...up above is the Hut of the Caretaker of the Funerary Rock from where we followed the Inca Trail up to the Sun Gate or Intipunku....this spot was the principal entrance to Machu Picchu located at the crest of a small hill (yeah, right...at 2,720 metres above sea level)...it took us about two hours to make our way all the way to the top and about forty minutes to make our way back down...the views from way, way up there of Machu Picchu way down below were absolutely stunning...on the other side of the ruins is Huayna Picchu (Young Peak) which if scaled, rewards the climber with additional spectacular views...we made our way back to Aguas Caliente around noon where we met up with Kike in the town square and then had lunch at Inka Wasi Restaurant where we had the pleasure of listening to a musical group called "Quechua"...after our lunch everyone just kind of hung out until it was time to catch our train back to Ollantaytambo, which was again delayed due to the farmers strike in Cuzco province...after arriving in Ollantaytambo we got back on a bus and headed towards Cuzco, having to dodge rocks and trees and cactuses and other debris strewn all over the road by the striking farmers trying to make their point to the Peruvian government that as producers they were not getting paid enough for their products...at one point we had to stop and Kike and our driver Marco got out to help clear the road so that vehicles could get thru...we eventually made it back to Cuzco and the Tupac Yupanqui Palace at about 10:00 p.m...it had been a wonderfully long day and we all tumbled into bed, looking forward to getting a good nights sleep...



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