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Border-line-illusions-Part 4. Machu Picchu and the Sun Gate (Inti Punku)
The Famous Machu Picchu
You should visit here.
The breathtaking views from Machu Picchu.
Today we get up early to beat the rush of tourists. We all take a bus from the town at the bottom of the canyon, to the top of near mountain side. The hair raising speed the bus drivers went as we move through the rain and clouds, was enough to be grateful for making it all the way to the top alive and well. As one bus is going up the narrow switchbacks others are already heading back down at the same time. Missing us by inches, one after another.
Machu Picchu is surrounded on 3 sides by the Urubamba River.
Waiting for the clouds to lift.Click thumbnail to view full-size
On top of the world.
As I wait for the clouds to lift, I find there isn't much to do but sit and wait. After a few minutes I can see some wildlife walking through the fog. Alpacas are expected at this point, but still awesome to see way up here. It must be the best way to keep the grass down as more things get uncovered throughout the year.
AlpacaClick thumbnail to view full-size
I can see!
Finally, after about a half hour or so, we can see again. The view gets more beautiful every minute that goes by. I will add a small video to show the look of the clouds rising through the cliff sides as soon as i can put it together (look for it at the bottom of this page in the next week or so.) It really doesn't get much better than this. You can take about any picture here, and it will turn out as picturesque as any pro photographer could make it.
A trail to an old Inca bridge.
After a walk around the top of the ruins a bit we decide to see this Inca bridge around the corner. Some think this was a hidden secret back entrance to Machu Picchu. After signing a paper at a cross-way with a guard (apparently people have disappeared around these steep cliff sides). We follow a narrow path along the side of a cliff, that dead ends with a old weak looking wooden gate, keeping you from the "bridge" that just was 20 or 30 feet beyond it.
Tons of stones piled up on the side of the cliff. It was amazing to think of the work involved. See the stone stairs in the face of the bridge?
An Old Inca Bridge.Click thumbnail to view full-size
Inti Punku - The Sun Gate
After hiking back to the main ruins area I hear about the "Sun Gate" or (Inti Punku- the sun door) . The park-guide told me it was only about 20 minutes up the hill, however after about 10 minutes I realized he was probably just talking about this old guard post area. It actually ended up being about 45-minutes to jog up the side of this mountain to the gateway. Would have been more like and hour and a half if I walked.
While I was here, I met a Dr. Favian from Chile. He was working on ways to help kids-at-risk have a place to play and learn. I think we will cross paths again one day in the not too distant future, it was a great visit. But the time was ticking and I knew that the rest of the group was probably wondering where I was by now. So we traded photo shots and I took a quick jog to the bottom. With stairs cut out of stone to jump to, and more people going up to dodge, I had a blast.
A last look around Machu Picchu.
After I met back up with the group, just inside the portal to the city, it was time to start the way back through some more ruins on the way to the bus. With so much to see, I'll just let you look at a quick few places.
Want to see more shots from Machu Picchu? I have quite a few more. But I didn't want to over load you.
To much to show...
I took TONS of photos up here. However I think this was a good amount. I'll add some video soon to the end of this page so keep an eye out.
After we get to town, we all decide to go our own ways for the night. I went out for some food and met up with a guide I had met up in ruins. We shared a few beers and went back and forth showing each other our knot skills. (He was training to repel into other ruins in the area) Needless to say I think it might be rather easy to get a very different type of tour, with this guy in the future.
Well I was exhausted, and ready for bed.
Back to my room at "Intiwasi Centro Espiritual".
Had a cup of tea and I was out.