Monday, December 20, 2010

The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

I only had enough time (and money) to do the one day Inca trail. This covered the main sites and there were plenty of steep climbs so I didn´t feel I had missed out on too much. I took the train as far as KM104 where Antonio my guide met me. I really enjoyed walking up to Machu Picchu, it makes it even more special when you arrive. The trail was beautiful and it was wonderful to be so close to the clouds. The incas believed that there were three levels the top one, with the Gods, the one where they lived in the mountains, close to the Gods and the valley below. This is why they built so high up as they actually did not need to defend themselves from anyone. Also the term Inca actually just refers to the King and his family. The Quechua people is the correct name for the people themselves. It is a really spiritual feeling to sit in the Wiñay Wayna ruins and look around so I can see why they placed so much importance on constellations, the sun and the moon. The other thing which is really poetic, is that the Inca believed that gold is the blood of the sun and silver the blood of the moon. Wiñay Wayna means ´forever young´ in Quechua language.

View from the train

At the beginning of my walk

It is partly jungle here so there were some really interesting plants

Antonio called these begonias but they don`t look like begonia´s to me!

A handy rest spot
Some more unusual flowers

One of the many steep trails, Dianne my walking companion is at the top

Another nice bit of trail

Really high up now, look at the clouds!

Beautiful waterfall

This part was really steep up to Wiñay Wayna

More steps

Beautiful inca terracing and the mountains beyond

More ´begonias´

Wiñay Wayna

View down to the ruins

Its possible Wiñay Wayna was a ceremonial space or just somewhere to rest on the way to Machu Picchu

Can you see the rainbow? 

It just gets steeper

Made it! There is Machu Picchu behind me, I am stood at the sun gate

Machu Picchu a bit closer

Machu Picchu with no-one there! Amazing! We arrived at about 5pm and no-one is around then.

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