We woke at 3:00 a.m. the final morning. Or did they let us lounge in bed until 3:30?
Either way, we woke up damn early and hiked about 20 minutes to the Macchu Picchu entrance, which was closed for the next two hours!
We did this so we would be first in line, and we were. Fellow hikers rolled in about 30 minutes later and we proceeded to entertain (annoy) them.
Captain and I were doing our usual banter. I said something funny and she repeated it 135 times at much louder levels.
We also sang some stupid kid’s song, “Apples and Bananas (Ooples and Banoonoos)” which did not prove to be a crowd favorite.
After the gates opened to the Machu Picchu, we were off like racehorses or greyhounds (or cockroaches when the light goes on). Literally running to what we thought would be a wonder of the world,just around the corner.
We didn’t realize it would take us a good hour or so to hike to the Sun Gate, which is the first section of Machu Picchu (I think).
We hung out their for a while, shivering and drinking our provided juice box.
Like children waiting to open presents (or waiting to be spanked, we weren’t quite sure).
Finally, we were allowed to get our first glimpse of Machu Picchu through the thick cloud cover.
Then, it was a waiting game. Just like in Rio when we visited the statue of the Christ last year. Every few seconds, the clouds would part and the object of our desire would be in full, glorious view.
Snap, snap (that’s the sound of a camera…not a new camera of course…but..well..shutup!)
Then the clouds would cover the sodding thing again!
I got my obligatory self cam pic in front of misty Machu Picchu.
We had an hour tour by our guide of how Machu was discovered when a little boy led an explorer into this viney jungle and there it was, waiting to be…weeded, essentially.
So, they took one big weed wacker and wacked the shit out of it and there you have it.
After our tour leader, Victor said his goodbye’s, we began wandering this ancient wonderland on our own. It was pretty fantastic, I have to say. All the while, being in the clouds and in awe of that amazing view.
Well, I’ll never forget it. And my memory sucks!
We thought this vicious gang of Alpacas were going to rip this poor dog to shreds, it was actually kind of scary! I’ll never forget the cruel determination in their eyes! They were like Mean Girls making sure the unpopular kid in school got her comeuppance!
Here’s one last partial group photo before we began exploring on our own. This was it! We had waited, hiked, sweated, and bled for two weeks for this moment.
Our loyalties to one another were gone, this is our time now. Just like the Goonies.
Except they were loyal to one another, so never mind.
I thought I would mix it up and crank up the edgy factor and take some shots on “sepia”. Watch out world.
All done. Very sad. As we left, the geriatrics began piling in with their enormous, expensive cameras lugged around their wrinkled necks and their khaki shorts pulled snuggly up to their chins.
We had basically gotten to explore Machu Picchu with barely anyone else there since we arrived so ding dong early! Thank god for that.
Pushing a smiling, elderly couple out of my way, ruining the picture that took them a lifetime to prepare, I headed down to the bus depot to get the hell out of there.
We took it down the windy road to Aguas Calientes. (not “windy” the weather, but the word that is pronounced “wine-dee”)
It’s a cute town at the base of the mountain containing Machu Picchu (if I have to write that word one more time…)
I ordered a forgettable pasta and had a bite of Captain’s cold, soggy pizza. Why haven’t we learned yet that Peruvian pizza IS NO GOOD!!??
TOMMORROW: The final Peru blog: THE CITY OF CUZCO/CUSCO