Woke up at 345am to freshen up and join the queue for the bus from Aguas Calientes to Macchu Picchu. You can walk 2 to 3 hours there too, but I wanted to save my energy for the site itself.
At 415am, there was already a very long queue and the first bus doesn’t even leave till 530am! By the time I got on the bus and reached the entrance of Macchu Picchu, the 10am tickets to climb Huayna Picchu were already all given out and I only managed to get the 7am one*. But I wanted to follow the guided tour that starts at 6am until whenever we run out of questions. Told myself that if it’s not meant to be, it’s not meant to be.
Most people (like me) tortured ourselves silly to go first thing in the morning to catch sunrise. Technically, you don’t see sunrise (perhaps because of the season and the direction of the sun?), but the changing hues of the light on the ruins are interesting.
And is Macchu Picchu really worth all that effort? And this is coming from someone like me who has never been particularly fascinated by the folklore associated with this lost city:
You have to see it to believe it.
A must-do while you are there: find a quiet spot for contemplation or just let your body peacefully absorb the natural surroundings. One of the reasons why Macchu Picchu is so fascinating as a site is its location: surrounded by mountainous peaks as far as the eye could see, unspoilt (until recently a bit tainted by roads opened for tourism) natural beauty in spite of the fact that this used to be an important agricultural site for the ancient Incans, perhaps an indication of an ancient people’s wisdom to live in harmony with mother earth and nature, not unlike ancient Chinese.
Also had a nice moment with the tour guide, a Quechuan, and another girl who stayed back after the tour. Sharing personal stories and food in a peaceful and tranquil moment, even if the tourists’ din is not far away.
And although the trip to Macchu Picchu didn’t quite go the way I’d desired, I am blessed with a beautiful sunny day at Macchu Picchu, when it was raining just a day ago!
Whilst I didn’t get to go Huayna Picchu, I still had time and decided to go up all the way to the Temple of Sun, which gives you both the views of the ruins and Huayna Picchu. And from up there, the lost city shrinks in humility against the marvellous green mountainous backdrop.
After walking up and down the Temple of Sun, my quads were so sore and I was yearning for a cold can of 100 plus under the hot sun. But little did I know then that the real adventure (or nightmare, depending how you look at it) happened on the way back to Cusco.
*Only 400 people are allowed to climb Huayna Picchu each day, with the first 200 at 7am and second batch at 10am.