Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Machu Picchu

Well, nothing I can really say about this place, because it sucked...

You didn't let me finish. Sucked the breath right out of my body.

We got up around sunrise, ate a nice breakfast of freshly picked fruit from the hotel gardens, stopped shaking after sucking down coca-tea, and met our new guide and friend Ramirez. He started off very shy, and similar to the other guides, he warmed up to us and we shared some laughs. The train to Aguas Calientes was about an hour and a half, for the fact that no roads travel to Aguas Calientes. The train slithered through the valley, and paralleled the Rio Urubamba. We arrived at Aguas Calientes and found it to be absolutely pouring.
Yeah, so what...
We didn't mind, it's f'in Machu Picchu. We threw on our rain jackets and entered the wall of water. We then walked through an abundant market place, seemingly every store had the exact same products, with few exceptions. We hopped on a bus which then scaled up the mountain in switch-backs until we arrived at the top. We unloaded the bus, and followed Ramirez. Step-by-step, on a slight incline, the ground turned from stone into grass. After recognizing we were upon a terrace, and just over the ridge ahead was the Lost City of the Incas, my anticipation grew...

And grew...

And grew...

Just a little more....

We walked our drenched bodies further until finally, I gazed upon a sanctuary. Tucked in between 2 majestic peaks and surrounded entirely by the mystical mountains of the Andes. Multiple layers of cloud formations rested amongst the mountains, some below us and some above. Rio Urubamba FAR below us on either side. As I stood there, I had a gut feeling which slowly crept up my chest and into my throat where I choked up and even felt a few tears. I can't really even explain why.

As most of you know I am not a religious man (or boy, dependent on our personal relationship), but this place has something magical about it. Extremely spiritual. Every aspect of this place is part of the Earth. Mother Earth (Pachamama).

We Misty Mountain Hopped (Zeppelin reference for all you suckers) up the agricultural tier section until ultimately resting at the top, under a highly pitched Inca roof. Now seeing an even better view from a higher altitude The roof was made of the wild grass I had mentioned, they also used to build combustion engines (hahahaha).

While we waited, Ramirez told us stories and explained many things. Including the fact, Incas separated every city into 2 sections. The farming section and the living section. He told us they chose this place because of the jungle rainforest to the east, and the mountains to the west. Fittingly naming it "The Eyebrow of the Jungle". There is a natural spring close by, meaning they must have searched this whole region until realizing the potential of this certain spot. We chatted for probably 30-45 minutes.
Meanwhile, the rainfall began to subside, exposing more landscape by the minute. There are no words to describe this. Again I felt choked up because now we had a clear view of the Andes, and most of you know how I love Los MontaƱas.

We walked down the agriculture section and through a doorway which split the city in 2 sections (farming & living). We examined the different styles of architecture: Power & Domestic. The power style include large rock structure carved into rectangles so precisely leaving no need for mortar. The domestic style includes a clay/mud substance that acts as a mortar, in which they use smaller rocks for this.

Each section was more impressive than the next. If you haven't noticed, with each Inca city lies a main plaza where civilians gather to meet, greet, play games, hold ceremonies, etc..

We then arrived at the 16 fountains that supplies fresh water to the city. The fountains are still running using the natural spring they found initially. Of course, the Incas carefully planned out the water works, using gravity and their signature aqueducts for drainage and water supply. With water comes life, so without water there is NOTHING.

Next we saw the sculpted condor, which was originally believed to be the Temple of the Condor, by Hiram Bingham (Discoverer of Machu Picchu in 1911). This is untrue because the Incas never worship animals, rather use them as symbols: The Snake, The Condor, The Zeppelin (or cat, whatever you call them).

After that, unfortunately, was the exit. I can honestly say this place melted my face more than Electric Church Red House (and some of you know about my infatuation with Hendrix). That's a big deal haha.
But honestly, this is the most spectacular place in the world and EVERYBODY must see with own eyes. I tried to do my best to describe this place including pictures, but I just can't to it justice. The scale and beauty are factors that cannot be expressed without actually being here.

Hope you enjoyed the post.
Thanks for reading, and goodnight.
Adam "Recently promoted back to The Navigator" Rappin

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