Machu Picchu - comfort & thrills!

I believe that all seasoned travellers have their own personal “Bucket List” and Machu Picchu was definitely on mine! In May 2008 a friend and I enjoyed a wonderful tour of Peru and the highlight was the mystical energies of the mysterious “Lost City of the Incas”.

After some debate regarding how we were going to accomplish reaching the pinnacle we both agreed that trekking was not our cup of tea. Neither of us enjoyed the idea of sleeping outside and on the ground!! So we compromised. We bought a hiking trail book about Peru and during each of the stops on our G Adventures “Comfort Level” http://www.gadventures.com/trips/machu-picchu-explorer/SPEX/2014/ tour we would go off on our own and do a local hike!

Our tour covered stays in Cuzco and the Sacred Valley which allowed us to see amazing Incan ruins and time to shop in the famous market of Pisac! We arrived into the international gathering place of Agua Calientes at the base of Machu Picchu early in the day and decided we should do some exploring.

The hiking book called it Putucusi and “moderate”. Well an understatement for sure! After finding the stone steps off the railroad tracks we began the hike up the mountain across from Machu Picchu. The steps eventually gave way to the infamous ladders. At points where the rock is too steep you are required to scale 4-5 storey ladders up the side of the rock. Fighting gravity you pull yourself up through the thick vegetation before you finally break the tree line and start along the narrow pathway which at times has sheer drops to the valley floor below. Lungs heaving, we valiantly breathed in the thin Andean air and finally reached the summit. There we were rewarded with a unique and rare view of the abandoned Lost Incan City! Four hours later we rewarded ourselves with a large Peruvian lager and applauded our accomplishment! http://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_Review-g304036-d2491540-Reviews-Putucusi_Mountain-Aguas_Calientes_Sacred_Valley_Cusco_Region.html

The following morning we woke early to make the first bus up to Machu Picchu in order to see the sunrise. The misty shrouds that clung eerily to the ancient stones of the Sun Temple gave way to brilliant sunshine and we were rewarded with the infamous view of Huayna Picchu with the lost city below. Our local guide provided important insights as to the recent and ancient history of the UNESCO site as well as advised as to the current issues surrounding the upkeep and maintenance of this important Peruvian monument.

The complex and fascinating history of this spot has been the topic of speculation amongst many historians and scientists alike. What is undeniable is the surge of spiritual energy which emanates from this mysterious and undefinable testament to Man’s ability to create.

Visits to Machu Picchu are best done during the dry season which spans April to October. Treks are required to be booked in advance in order to avoid disappointment as the Peruvian government has taken deliberate actions to regulate the number of visitors in order to avoid further erosion and damage to the site.

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About the Author

Joy has long been a believer in the art of travel: the belief that a vacation is something to be anticipated savored and then long remembered as one of life’s great adventures. 
Website: thejoyoftravel.ca

You can contact Joy at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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