Day 4: Machu Picchu

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Good morning! We arrived just after sunrise and were greeted by this guy.

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The only door at Machu Picchu. When the Incas left, they also closed the door (probably made of straw, clearly didn’t survive centuries of natural elements) and latched it into the holes you see on the right and left.

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Sun Temple

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Look at all of that terracing!

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Incan sun dial

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Our friend Ben from Fort Collins, CO who met up with us while on his first international adventure
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This the the Sacred Rock. You can read about it here: http://www.enjoy-machu-picchu.org/architecture/sacred-rock.php

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Brent and friends. Do you see a theme? He associates more with animals than people.

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Reflection ponds

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Steep stairs atop Huayna Picchu. I kept wondering, how on earth did the Incas (who were probably tiny) move all of this stone while climbing up steep cliff faces?

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Brent surfing on the backside of Huayna Picchu. Apparently my finger wanted in the picture too, sorry.

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The Inca city looking much smaller from the top of Huayna Picchu. In the northeast corner in the clouds is Machu Picchu mountain and moving west along the ridge line is the sun gate, where the Inca Trail from Cusco enters Machu Picchu. The windy road descends down into Aguas Calientes.

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Ralphie making a guest appearance, what a lucky buffalo! This is the classic Machu Picchu picture and it is from the watchtower.

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Brent didn’t want to get too near because I smelled so terrible. Nice setting though! Look how uniform the stones are in the buildings top left.

I think most of the time I was in awe of the grandeur of this city and adjacent temple on the hillside. Similar to when I visited Tikal in Guatemala, I couldn’t stop thinking about how much brute strength this must have taken to construct. Can you imagine building a temple on Huayna Picchu? And, after building all of this in a rather conspicuous manner, the Inca did not even live here very long. We are so lucky that it was discovered in the early 20th century and that it is accessible to visitors, but the wear and tear is very evident, especially on the rock stairs leading to the top of Huayna Picchu. Like any tourist destination, it will be interesting to see how this site maintains in the near future.

 

 

 

 

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