Thursday, August 14, 2014

Machu Picchu

I’m going to take the easy one out on this blog. I may have stated that I was going to write about Surfing or Ric Wayborn (yum) but alas I will not. So without further adue, Hello Machu Picchu! This was easily the most exciting and adventurous part of the trip.
It was a very early Saturday morning in Lima when we woke to sunny skies and warm temperatures. Kidding! Per usual it was foggy and cold. A majority of us were battling some form of Peruvian sickness or as Marty would like to say, “The Ermides Flu” as I was dubbed patient zero. But we slapped on some smiles and hit the airport! The following sequence of events ensued:
Hour 1: Our flight was canceled!
Hour 2: Our flight was rescheduled!
Hour 2.5: Our flight switched gates.
Hour 2.75?: Our flight switched gates again.
Hour 3: And again! Wtf?!
Hour 4: I hate the Lima airport. I need a cerveza.
Hour 5: We have landed in Cusco.  Holy guinea pig, the altitude! At 11000 feet you can really feel how thin the air is.
Cusco is a beautiful city. Not only is it situated in the Andes Mountains but it has a unique history that you can see in the streets and the buildings. From the cathedrals to the Incan temples there is a sense of life that spans hundreds of centuries. The people of Cusco are humble, generous, and have great pride in their past.
Cusco is also home of the guinea pig last super. I’m not kidding, google it.
24 hours later we fully adjusted to the altitude and we were on our way to Machu Picchu. To get to Machu Picchu takes 3.5 hours from Cusco. This includes a bus ride, a train ride, than one last gnarly hang on to your butts bus ride. The train ride takes you through the Andes to get you to the very edge of Machu Picchu.  I can’t seem to put into words how beautiful the train ride is. The views are breathtaking.  Below are pictures.
Finally we have arrived at Machu Picchu’s access point. A small but colorful town called Aguas Calientes, only 3 miles to go. Don’t forget, now you must take a bus that drives up a cliff going 30 mph with no guard rails. I hope we all updated our life insurance policies.
Obviously we survived with possibly soiled pants. According to Nry our guide, we just had to walk a bit further to arrive at the first point of Machu Picchu. By walking she really meant to say, lets hike up a mountain at 8,000 ft. At this point we all needed oxygen tanks. However, as we got over the crest of the hill (*cough* mountain) look at what we saw (pictures are below).
Nry, was a wonderful guide and provided us a colorful account of the history of Machu Picchu and how the Incans lived. She provided us with tales and knowledge of the people and made sure we all had some pretty amazing pictures to annoy our family members and coworkers with. Even though we didn’t have many (any) questions to ask her, we all learned one important word, “Pachamama!” Here are a few more pictures to drool over.
The tour was magnificent. It amazed us all how a civilization built and thrived in the valley of the Andes. The Incans were incredibly intelligent with a love of the skies, the earth, and their people. Seeing and being a part of such a place was a once and a lifetime experience.
Now time to find a banos!!!  Poor Nry.

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