Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The ¨Lost City¨ of Machu Pichu - Nov 25

Machu Pichu. I was here a few years ago on my way to a project in Chile, but it was Karen´s first time. For both of us it was facinating.

But first you had to take a bus from Aguas Calientes that hugs the mountain through some of the tightest switch-backs ever seen. As previously stated, yours truly truly doesn´t like heights, and made Karen sit on the down-hill side of the bus!

Machu Pichu itself was an Incan city, re-discovered in the early 1900s. It is an architechtural and engineering marvel, and they had to carry stones up the mountains from many miles away. We had fantastic weather, and fabulous views. We were also lucky to find an excellent guide.

This is the ¨classic¨ picture of Machu Pichu, although many of the guide books (for some unknown reason) don´t include Karen and me. Poor planning on their part, undoubtedly.

The Incans were pretty clever. Even their method of building steps on the terraces used for agriculture was interesting... rocks built as outcroppings from the walls

The setting was some of the most spectacular in the world. Although this was the rainy season there, we had picture perfect weather to appreciate the incredible scenery. Imagine having to haul rocks through these mountains to build the city! Truly impressive.

Next to Machu Pichu is the mountain of Huaina Pichu. This was also built on. Tourists now line up for the privilege of climbing it. Only about 400 a day are permitted, so they are there VERY early in the morning to get a ticket. Needless to say, we decided to pass on this particular spiritual quest. I´m blaming it on my artificial knee... that´s my story and I´m sticking to it!

After the day visiting Machu Pichu, we took the train back to Cuzco. Tomorrow we hop aboard another train to visit Puno on Lake Titicaca.

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