After a week in the sacred valley we travelled up by train to the modern day town of Machu Picchu the gateway to the ancient site. The first thing that is realised on leaving the train is just how popular Machu Picchu is as a tourist attraction. There are a continual flow of buses travelling from the town to the site, a journey of 20 minutes, but when we arrived at 11.00am the queue was over an hour. In 2017 it is estimated that nearly 4 million people visited Peru and a good proportion of these will have Machu Picchu as there primary destination. But the site is large and once we were there we were able to travel about easily.
The sense of awe that we each experienced as we first entered the site cannot be explained. Here we were in a place that was unique in a setting that was breath taking and a sense of history that was more than real. Combine that with some of things already mentioned such as the architect achievements, the vastness and the remaining mystery of how it was achieved, why was it built and where did the inhabitants go and you are in the midst of a singularly memorable experience that will live with you for the rest of your life.
The remains of the city and the explanation of a good guide make it easy to imagine the place as it would have been 600 or so years ago.
Having shared the site with a large numbers of others we rose early the next morning and set out in the pouring rain to revisit. We had decided to climb to the Sun Gate which is an hours walk, uphill, from the main site. It is here that the sun will shine through on the summer solstice onto the city below through the window of the Sun Temple. However, we were now in and out of the clouds as the rain persisted and felt as if we had climbed to the roof of the world and had a sense of being in another dimension.
All in all a real life experience which was finished by the bus journey down on roads that often caused two buses to struggle to pass and with a really significant drop just the other side of the window.
The Moose’s Musing…
It quickly became apparent that the Inca kings and I had a lot in common. Apart from the great technical feats that they were capable of, which clearly displays a level of sophistication similar to my own, they demonstrated their clear desire to be like me as seen by the way they adorned their heads. All goes to prove that the moose has long been a superior life form and that the world aspires to be like us. It’s not easy being an icon! Polie I need a beer….