Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Magical day at Machu Picchu...






From Ollantaytambo we took a day trip to Machu Picchu.  We caught a train to Aguas Caliente, then a bus up to Machu Picchu.  Both rides were spectacular as well!  The train took us along the river which was absolutely raging!!




I expected Machu Picchu to be stunning - as the tourism guys say "Machu Picchu sells itself!" - but it was much much more!  We spent quite some time sitting at the top looking down before we even ventured in just taking it all in.  It is a massive collection of buildings and stonework sitting right at the top of a mountain 2,430 metres above sea level.

A very special place for a picnic!

These mountains aren't rolling hills either - they are steep with sheer rock-faces along most sides...  I just can't imagine how it was ever decided that it would be a good idea to build a city on the very top of a mountain!  I mean, can you imagine sitting around a campfire and some bloke says "hey, see that really high peak up there... let's build a city up there... out of massive big rocks!!"...  And yet they did, and I'm glad they did because it truly is spectacular!


When we arrived there was a bit of cloud around, but as we stood there admiring the place the clouds would drift in and out... it really just added a bit more mystique to the whole experience.





 



 As the day went on, the clouds moved higher and we had amazing weather for most of the day!  It wasn't until about 3pm that the rain started to fall - but it didn't stop us... we just donned the wet weather gear and kept on exploring!


 Some of the rock placement is amazing.  Like this wall that is built on another sloping rock - how is it possible that those rocks don't just slide down...


And this one...  a room/house built over a roundish rock with massive stones bridging the gap to create a floor - you wouldn't even know you weren't on solid ground from inside that room...


Oh and these things are all over the place too... rocks that have been shaped to be like tie-down loops...


I have no answers for any of these things... I eavesdropped on lots of guides and heard lots of "theories" but the point is, nobody really knows why or how any of this was built.  So we just need be satisfied with the fact that we have had the privilege of visiting this stunning place...



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