The Incas hid Machu Picchu so high in the clouds that it escaped destruction by the empire-building Spaniards, who never found it. It was rediscovered in 1911 by Yale archaeologist and historian Hiram Bingham with the aid of a local farmer who knew of it’s existence.
Our excitement escalated as we joined the stream of others about to board a bus to be driven the winding switch-back road to it’s entrance. The drivers must have done a heap of kilometres in both up and down directions because they drove the coach like being on a race track, throwing the rectangle box around the corners, adding to the adrenalin. Sometimes there were guard rails on the outer road edge. Sometimes not. Up towards the last remnants of morning mist we went.
Once through the entrance formalities, there it was … the mighty Incas Machu Picchu.
It’s unequaled aura of mystery, magic and wonder was right there before our eyes. It left us way more awe struck than anything else we have ever experienced.
The throngs of people that were there also, didn’t phase us. Everyone was respectful to give way when photos were being taken. The place is tightly monitored with control wardens so as to minimise deviating off the path to follow and, it was only one way traffic.
Frank our tour leader, found our group a spot to just sit and find fulfillment overlooking the rows of granite stone ruins. As the ball of yellow rose higher, it methodically illuminated aspects of what remained of a remarkable civilization landmark.
After taking a short walk to an Inca bridge that was hugging the side of a cliff face, we left the group to explore Machu Picchu on our own. Words are hard to find to describe the feeling. Perhaps best summed up that we have adventured to some spectacular places on this planet … journey and destinations. Sometimes it was the journey that was the memory. Other times, it was the destination.
Today, we can say that the Machu Picchu journey and destination went hand in hand. Or one step in-front of the other. An emotional place on the planet that will make you cry. And that, is what it should do.
We re-grouped with the intrepid’s to board the coach for the drive down. Sometimes silence was stronger than the combined chit chat of what was just experienced. It allowed for folk to be at peace and perhaps pay homage to the lost ghosts from the mountain top.
We re-traced our travel back to Cusco by train and coach, arriving into the city under the cover of darkness. A splash of water, some fresh clothes and a little lippy before going out for a departing meal with people who were total strangers only a few days before. It was like we had known each other for a life time.
Who knows if we will cross paths again in the future.
What matters more was that we got to share the Quarry Trail Trek, a snippet of the Incas and Machu, with fellow beings. Perhaps they too have rediscovered a new liking for wanting more of what they experienced for the first time.
Escaping, exploring and enjoying.
The jungle now beckons, where the monsters live! And a different kind of emotion … eeeeeeeeeeek!