One Million steps and few thousand more travel blog

Climbing up

Looking down

Vertigo inducing

Picture postcard

What a view

Inca work

Still in love

View out of the back door

Just step back a little

Observing the sun in a pool,of water

Having arrived at Machu Picchu station early on misty morning, the conflict between 21st century and third world was evidenced everywhere. Modern hotels living cheek by jowl with with mud and wooden shacks, smoky open fires billowing steam and smells across the valley. Cheap sovenier shops alongside gold, silver and Alpachas products. A mix of colours clashing with the dense green jungle surroundings. Beautiful Traditional dress being worn in contrast with the jeans and inappropriate printed tee shirts.

The excitement was definitely growing as we walked over a rickety wooden bridge over the swollen brown river to catch the bus to the top. It was like a scene from Indiana Jones and the temple of Doom. On getting on the bus you could not see anything that resembled the Incan University, as MP was built in the 1500's and was still be expanded as the Inca base of all knowledge, kings and students from across the empire were brought to MP to share their knowledge and improve their technical and practical capabilities to support the growing empire.

The dirt track that winds its way up the steep inclines, clings to the sides as it zigzags it way up. The vertigo inducing views from the sides of the bus are a wonder in themselves. As we climb higher nearer to the cloud line, the feeling of entering a wonderous but dangerous arena is overpowering. You can clearly see why they believed that Gods inhabited these areas. For me it was most surprising that the jungle, thick lavish vegtation still covers approx 30% of the current known inca settlements, but even as we arrive a new area across the valley has indicated further accommodations and channelled water ways to support life at 2000 feet above the valley floor.

As we approached the last bends, the first of a the thousands of crafted terraces is seen and with the mounting excitement the three entrances gates and the walls guarding this bastion of knowledge and Inca Engineering come into view.

We step off the bus and the views a jaw dropping spectactular, I am overcome by the emotion and have to pinch myself to be believe that I am so lucky and priveldged to be standing here about to see my dreams of this place turn into reality.

We then have a stiff March further up the mountain before entering the site at the highest city gate, which is controlling the city from the sun gate entrance several thousand feet above.

We turn and there it is in best picture postcard best, the view everyone knows but few lucky enough to see, feel and touch. The overcast weather broke as we ascended and there bathed in sunlight , my camera started clicking. Our guide Eddie then drew the. Pictures in words for us to explain how this had come to be, it's functions during its existence and the final abandonment of the site as the Spanish came by but never found it. Only to be found again by Higham Bingham in 1906 when he had 6 weeks concession to investigate.

I have included 20 of my several hundred shots, some through the glass of the bus on the way up but most onsite. The designed layout of the most of the site was built with celestial knowledge, and specific planting, or festival times, December and June 21st Summer and Winter Soltis. The alignment of sun, moon and ground based water filled containers for observations of the sky.

Needless to say I was in heaven, both physically and literally, I hope that you can share at least the views.

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