Day 41 – Machu Picchu, Peru – Te Amo
January 15th, 2012 is the day that I climbed Machu Picchu and Wayna Picchu.
Got up bright and early, a little bit more than usual, at about 4:30am. We ate breakfast and around 5:30am headed down to the buses. I was not about to climb up to Machu Picchu when I had a 07:00am Wayna Picchu climb ahead. So I hopped on a bus up and arrived around 6:30am. Immediately walked across the whole Machu Picchu attempting NOT to look at it on my way to the entrance to Wayna Picchu. (I wanted to savour the surprise – you would be surprised how quickly you can cross the complex with eyes squinting while looking only at the ground immediately in front of you)
Wayna Picchu. Stairs stairs stairs and MORE stairs. Straight up and sometimes the stairs are like double stairs and for midget legs of my own, I had to use my monkey-like climbing abilities to scale some spots. Getting to the top took me about 50 minutes. I took it leisurely with multiple 1 minute break intervals to breath. I felt no need to rush up to the top – it was cloudy in the morning, and figured if I took it slow it would give the clouds more time to clear themselves up. My plan worked like a charm. I got to the top in high spirits and laughed when I saw other people almost dead out of breath. And the clouds were still in place. I took a seat and enjoyed myself a granola bar and some water, patiently waiting for the sight of Machu Picchu to poke its head out from the clouds below.
And when it finally did – AMAZING. What a sight. I am so glad I ran through it at the beginning because having it reveled slowly by the clouds was so much more impressive and I almost burst with anticipation every time I caught the slightest glimpse!
After I got my immediately fill of Machu Picchu from above, I started to wander the temple of Wayna Picchu. It itself is a lovely temple with many terraces and layers – BUT – and this is a BIG BUT – it can be TERRIFYING climbing down and around the temple. There are many staircases with only small walls on one side with the other side completely exposed with vertigo inducing drops straight into the valley below. I am no fear of heights, but even this put my stomach on edge and my nerves gave me the giggles.
After about 2 hours wandering the top, it was time to walk back down those steep steps and explore Machu Picchu up close and personal! So with about 30 minutes walk down, I entered the sight and was so happy my smile stretched from ear-to-ear, and everybody around me looked the same.
I wandered the temple, in and out of all the rooms, up and down all the stairs, and sat in various doorways just to stare in awe. I love Ruins and I was at the mother of Ruins! On a bright sunny day with no rain in rainy season to boot! What luck! I was happy. I am happy.
Next up: Santa Teresa, Peru