today was the big day. machu picchu. a big group of us were walking up, so we left at 7 to walk up. we left the hotel, walked through the cool and beautiful aguas clients and left for the hike. the hike to the entrance was easy, the calm before the storm. along a river, between a huge anyone, so beautiful! we walked across a bridge that we had to show our ticket, passport, and student card in order to cross then took a picture with the entrance sign and headed up the trail.
i went fast and furious, and it was harrrrd. lots of stairs, switchbacks, uneven trails, and even steps up a retaining wall. but, it was extremely worth it, so beautiful! valleys, green mountains, water falls. so beautiful and extremely worth the walk. i got there first, after little over an hour after we left the hotel (average time is 2.5 hours - told you i flew), and waited for people to arrive. once there, paige and i wanted to go in quick and look before it got crowded while everyone waited for the rest of the walkers and the bus riders. we had to show our passport, student id card, and entrance ticket every time we went in, which was multiple times because there are no bathrooms, nor eating inside the actual park. i remember saying to paige how i thought i was going to cry, and shaking from excitement. and it did not let me down (i did not cry, however). oh.my.god.it.was.amazing. we walked up quick, then back down. we got with our group after a while and split up for our guided tour.
the guided tour was awesome! we learned so much, like 60% of the ruins are underground, as foundation for what is above ground, 90% of the ruins are original, original drainage system that still works for drainage and irrigation. the sun temple is situated with one window perfect situated for the summer solstice and another perfect situated for the winter solstice, tomb under the sun temple is for the royalty that are always buried in the fetal position so they can be reborn easily, the more precise and precious stones are for more important people, and everything was done in order to satisfy the gods, especially pachamama. also, the mountain peak in the picture is huayna picchu (to the north), not machu picchu. machu picchu mountain is behind (to the south) of the ruins.
after touring the various levels for a long time, we had time to ourselves. paige, kayla, and i wanted to quickly do the two hikes, sun road, which is the entrance to machu picchu from the inca trail, and the inca bridge which is a bridge used by the incans. the sun road was amazing. it was far to the south along the ridge of the mountains and it was tough too, uneven original incan trail, steep steps. but so worth it, it was amazing and we saw the other side of the mountain as well as a panoramic view of the mountains. we stayed for a while, then walked back down to go to the inca bridge.
the inca bridge was cool and short, with sheer cliffs (hence the reason we had to sign a book when we leave and return from the hike) on the side and beautiful mountains and the incan bridge was awesome and amazing how they made it.
we went back to sit. it was nice to just sit, meditate and take pictures, and just talk. after hiking, without stopping for over 7 hours, we were pooped. we got lots of pictures after most of the people left, and the sun was going down and peaking through the clouds. beautiful. i could sit there forever. no joke. i wish i had sat there longer, but i wanted to do everything i could. i already want to go back. i was very sad to go. "goodbye machu picchu, i love you," i said multiple times. there was a total of 32,000 steps, 314 flights of stairs, or 14 miles for the whole day.
after all day of munching on few granola bars and water, i was hungry and i didn't care how much i was going to have to pay to eat in the park. i got a gigantic, like twice as big as subway subs for about $9, which isn't too bad. and it was great. after eating, we rode the bus down, which was crazy but much easier than walking. ha. after getting back to aguas clients, we walked back to the hotel to get some things from our bags then walked downtown. we split up and a few of us went to the markets to look a little more. and thank god we did because i finally found the ring i was looking for! the incan cross. i am so happy, holy shit.
at about 6.30, we loaded the train for ollantaytambo for our hotel. the train ride was fun again, with no asshole interruptions, thank god! interesting, talking with people. after the train, we walked to our hotel which was interesting. a bunch of different room type things connected, but it was nice. ian and i's room was strange. we think it was originally a one bed, but they needed more room so they stuffed another bed in. no joke, when we opened the door, it hit my bed. there was a desk, that was close to the bed that you couldn't even move the chair, and a bar right by my bed. and the closed was in a hole in the wall behind ian's bed. strange. i don't know about the others, but i was pooped and quickly hit the hay after playing a few rounds of cards. easily one of the most amazing, and life changing days of my life.
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