Machu Picchu – The name every single traveller in the world, yearns to either go toe or add it to their list of travels to cross it off at some stage. The name that makes every hiker in the world want to do the 4 day Inca Trail before reaching the mountain of the Lost City of the Incas. And finally the name, where only one non-documentary type movie has been allowed to shoot and that isn’t a James Bond classic or a Steven Spielberg special. It was Super Star Rajnikanth’s movie “Enthiran (Robot in Hindi)” in which the “Kilimanjaro” song sequence was entirely shot at Machu Picchu.
Yes that’s a special introduction to this unbelievably marvellous city, an incredible feat of ancient engineering by the Incas in the 1400s. Until I arrived here I thought this “lost city” was constructed a few thousand years ago but it’s been just over 600years old of which it was habited only for about 100yrs before being abandoned by the Incas and no one knows the exact reason why.
My entire journey to Machu Picchu is documented in a video HERE and this post is not about writing the video in words. To a small extent perhaps a yes but it’s more about how it feels when you walk among the ruins and how it’s feels to be surrounded by the gigantic lush green mountains all around when you reach this new wonder of the world.
Because I had started very early in the morning wanting to be the first entrants for the day, as well as having booked the first slot to Wayna Picchu, when I entered the ruins of Machu Picchu straight away I couldn’t believe where I was. Yes the ruins make you wonder how the Incas built it so high in the mountains. Yes the early morning fog makes you feel like you are in heaven. Yes the morning drizzle adds to the awesomeness of location. And all you can go is WoW with each single step you take and with every angle you look around.
It was 6am when I entered the ruins and given it was a low travel season there were only about a couple dozen of us who had walked in at that time. Even the security guards hadn’t taken their positions inside yet. I made my way thru a good area of the ruins with literally no one in sight and soaked in all the glory to myself. For a good hour or so there were hardly anyone.
At around 7am I had to hike up to Wayna Picchu, the summit of which was 2000ft above Machu Picchu. It took about 90mins to get to the top and wasn’t the most easiest of hikes as such. Particularly considering it was about 7500ft above sea level. A lot of them are warned about altitude sickness and it’s side effects. Thankfully I was alright the whole time except that I had to take it slow in certain places.
The feeling of making it to the top of Wayna Picchu and admiring the views around is something that can’t be explained in words. Every person who makes it all the way is proud of each others’ efforts. It does feel like an Everest climb of it’s own in a certain way. The views you get, the air you breath, the mountains you see and the clouds below you, are all something that you can’t put a price to. After about 30mins of being in sheer admiration I did go back to Machu Picchu, although I didn’t want to. On the way down I had company at some parts where as for the rest of it I had my Sony speaker. It was fun playing all sorts of numbers in the middle of an ancient Incan jungle, grooving to some peppy songs along the way.
Once I was down at Machu Picchu, at about 1030am or so there were a plethora of tourists everywhere. I didn’t feel like spending too much time as such but did manage to hang out for an hour or so waking through the ruins and shooting my videos. After which I decided to grab a Peruvian Pilsner with an empanada for brunch. Which is where I met an Indian couple (or any Indians for the first time in nearly 2 months) as well as a couple of Japanese travellers, all of whom became good friends in a short span of time.
A little while later I made a downhill hike to Aguas Calientes, where I had to take the train back to Ollyatantambo a couple of hours later. The feeling of being in one of the most beautiful places on earth, at a wonder of the world, completing a hike which lot of them want to but can’t or can but won’t, all of this is something I can only be grateful for having been able to do so at a time in my life which others envy. The world is an amazing place and as I continue my journey, more incredible places are being unfolded. So for what it’s worth, I urge you to pack your bags and travel like you‘ll never be able to for the rest of your life.