Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu, Peru

I have wanted to visit these ancient ruins for a long time, especially upon hearing they were close to closing up to the public, but nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to encounter. There are many ways to get to this long forgotten city including trekking for a chosen amount of days to Aguas Calientes and then hiking straight up the mountain until you reached your final destination. In my old, more free spirited days of hitchhiking, living with only what fit on my back and floating around to wherever life took me, maybe, MAYBE I would have gone that route. The thought of that journey with a 2 1/2 year old strapped to my back along with being almost 8,000 miles above sea level exhausted me and I booked the train, slept soundly in a local hostel and boarded a bus in the morning. 
A bus, what a peaceful way to reach your destination you're thinking, how lovely to stare out the window as you make your way up the mountain disappearing into the clouds daydreaming about the civilization that made this mountain their home. I was thinking the same and oh, how wrong I was! The bus drives up teetering over the edge of the growing mountain, taking sharp turns before teetering over it again and then coming head on with yet another of the ongoing buses making it to inch even closer to the side causing your imagination to start planning out the ways you would save yourself and your two year old squirming sidekick if the worst was to happen and this massive vehicle were to flip and was dangling only from the tiny, scraggly trees growing up the side of the mountain. Terrifying and overly dramatic, but if you've been there you know the fear! 
But as to be expected the destination was worth the ride. The amazement and wonder of the people who dared to climb so high and build such an intricate home in the clouds and why and how and where did they disappear to? The stone bricks so perfectly carved, they fit together so perfectly not even a piece of paper could fit between two adjoining sides. The different levels built, all with separate climates in order to grow a plethora of different fruits and vegetables. The water and drainage systems that still work to this day, it's truly a wonder in many senses of the word.
If you dare get there quick, in the next couple of years the wear and tear of 2,500 visitors a day, every day will come to an end as they shut up this amazing place in order to preserve it's beauty for the years to come.

Budget tips: 
Book your train tickets as far in advance as possible as there are different levels of trains and the cheapest "Backpacker" seats sell out super quick.

As soon as you book your tickets go to the government website and book your entrance to Machu Picchu. Here you will pay $44 as opposed to the $65 the agencies will charge.

Take your little ones to experience - kids under 8 are free of charge and from 8-17 are 50% the adult price!

No comments:

Post a Comment