I’m reposting visits to some of my favourite places, today I’m taking you to the magnificent Macchupicchu. I was on a 105 day trip to visit the countries still on my ‘want to do’ list, (this is where the name of this blog comes from see ‘105 days’ from the menu for more about this). It was a very busy trip, visiting 14 countries, I wrote about every day of the trip and recorded the number of flights; modes of transport, as they were quite diverse; hotel stays; etc. I was a third of the way through the trip when I arrived in Peru, it was one of my favourite South American countries. I took these photos on a very cheap smart phone, so the quality is not always great, but good enough to give you some inspiration.
Day 54, June 10 2016
Countries 7 Hotels 24 Cars 37
Flights 12 – flying time 46.52 hours
Rickshaw 4 – Buses 6 – Elephant 1 – Boat 3 – Cable car 6 – Subway 4 – Ferry 2 – Coach 2 – Catamaran 1 – Funicular 3 – Pickup truck 1 – Train 2 – Land cruiser 8 – Hydrofoil 4 – Llama 1 – Cycle Taxi 1 – Minibus 30 -Cogwheel train 2
Today my guide met me at my hotel and we walked to the train station, two minutes from my hotel. Once on board the train to Macchupicchu, we were served breakfast. The trip took 90 minutes. The track follows a river through this inhospitable landscape, with high mountains on both sides of the train, starting with snow capped mountains, changing into dense jungle. Occasionally my guide pointed out stone structures, that were part of the original Inca trail and still used every day by those who choose to trek to Macchupicchu. All of these shots were taken from the train window so aren’t great, but give a flavour of the journey. Apparently the original name of this city isn’t known as the Incas hadn’t developed a writing system, so it was called Macchupicchu by the local people, which means old mountain, and here they have it as one word not two.
We went though some small tunnels along the way, there is something wondrous to see all along the route to Macchupicchu. When we arrived I left my bag at the hotel and we went to catch the bus to go up the mountain. The buses are very organised, always full and zigzag up the mountain on dirt tracks, so it’s quite a bumpy ride. This morning the bus we were on stopped at ten o’clock for ten minutes to save energy. This gave a great opportunity to take some photos of the mountains I had been admiring on the journey.
When we got to the ticket barrier, I had to show my passport which had to match the name on my ticket. Then we had to climb a fairly steep path, because my guide wanted to start by taking me to the place for the best view over the city. I’ve said this before, and I make no apologies for saying it again, nothing prepares one for the first sight of this wondrous place. I felt quite emotional looking out over it, and quite privileged to be in a position to see such splendour.
We spent over two hours walking around this vast city in the sky and still didn’t see all of it. The Spanish never found this so it remained intact until Hiram Bingham ‘found’ it in 1911.
Archaeologists have suggested that the city was abandoned by the Incas as word got to them about the Spanish, and there is evidence that construction was still being undertaken in some areas.
Even with the large number of tourists on the site it doesn’t detract from the delight of walking around this fascinating place.
The Incas chose this site because they wanted to be close to the sun and the mountains.
I got the bus back into the town and checked into my hotel. This is an odd place, the railway track runs right through the centre of the town. My room looks out over the river. There’s just gift shops, restaurants catering for tourists and stores selling food stuffs.