We’re off to see one of the 7 wonders of the world. I’d threatened to skip this but during a Skype my eldest daughter accused me of ‘stupid positioning’ or something I didn’t really understand. So off we go to keep the peace. (this is a three-day post)
I was determined to catch up on a few blog posts while I was here and found Ollantaytambo was no-or-slow so headed back to Urubamba in the morning. It turned out to be a good decision because next morning it was market day
You get the train from either Ollantaytambo or Urubamba to the town of Aguas Calientes the top right corner of the track. 3 hours from Urubamba. Then you get a bus for about 20 minutes to the top of the mountain (the straight line, then the switchbacks) then you’re at Machu Picchu. To the left is me walking around the site.
The faint of heart struggle to keep their composure up the super-tight unpaved switchbacks and drop-offs. There’s only room for buses coming down about 50% of the time, so there’s some maneuvering which is cool. Lucinda would have loved this.
At the top you walk through a gate and Machu Picchu hits you full in the face. It’s shockingly awesome. The placement of the site on a high ridge between two peaks with epic drops to the sides has to be seen to be believed, and I was wrongly convinced 50 years of photographs had prepared me. A bit stunned, I had enough fight left in me to not take the usual photo so wandered off to the opposite side
Somehow our train had got in almost first. Not many people yet.
The most extraordinary piece was the Intihuatana stone. The top piece doesn’t cast a shadow at noon, just for a moment, at either equinox. The way the emerging rock of the mountain forms the base and the 13 degree angle (necessarily the latitude of Machu Picchu) of the top stone – the piece is hypnotic in its beauty
I really wasn’t interested in what structures did what, the mechanics of how the city (of 700) functioned, or its history. I came here with a little bit of knowledge of Pacha from Cusco and took a particular interest in the outermost terraces (perhaps the margin between the here and the below), the here (the Pacha in the stonework), and the higher world (the sun on the Intihuatana stone). How I cooked that shit up I have no idea but it made sense at the time and there was so much to see, and only 3 hours, you had to focus a bit.
Than back down to Aguas Calientes, threes everywhere. Saludos