News and Views

From my kids accomplishments, to my heretical perspective of the world

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Machu Picchu Revisited

July 13th, 2006 · 2 Comments

We went back to MP the following day (yesterday). If you look at the usual pictures of the site, you see a large egg-shaped peak just behind the ruins of the city. On this day we climbed to the top of that peak. It was less than 1000 feet higher, but it was very steep, mostly climbing on the original steps that the Incas had carved.

Near the top are some temples and other stone structures, but the very top is a jumble of boulders. There were over 100 people clustered together on and between boulders. It was very crowded, but everyone was good-natured. We had a good view of the main city from up there, but the usual post card picture from the other side is more striking.

Four of us took an alternative, longer way down that passed by ¨The Great Cave¨. The extra hike was not worth the 20 x 50 foot cave. I’m not sure why it is named ¨Great¨. The hike was grueling, but it actually felt good to get some exercise after sitting and walking behind a guide, and the view was wonderful.

On this second visit I realized that the amazing thing about Machu Picchu is not necessarily the magnitude of the construction, but the beauty of the setting. Perched up there on that narrow ridge, with the sheer cliffs below and all around, and with the green covered hills — it´s just one of the most beautiful places I´ve ever been.

Today we are back in Cuzco. Tomorrow we go back to Lima where Devon catches a flight home. The rest of us are going up north back into another part of the Andes to Huaraz where one of our fellow travellers spent two years in the Peace Corps, 35 years ago. Should be less touristy, and perhaps a clearer picture of the “real” Peru.

To answer a couple of questions. It is winter here, but we are close enough to the equator that the temperatures don’t change much through the year. The main difference is that in the summer months (Jan – Mar) it rains more. During the winter it almost never rains.

Up here in Cuzco at 11500 feet nights drop down near or just below freezing. Days are in the 60’s. There are glaciers on the higher peaks, but we haven’t enountered any in our travels.

Lima, down on the coast, is surprisingly cool too; usually in the 60’s day and night. They claim that it hasn’t rained in Lima since the 1970’s, but it is always cloudy and usually “drizzling” — droplets condensing out of the air.

And that´s your travel lesson for the day.

By the way, everyone in my family is healthy right now, though one of the other women seems to have the same thing Devon had. She went to the hospital and got some medicine and is feeling much better now.

Tags: Family Updates

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Mom // Jul 14, 2006 at 9:45 pm

    Since you haven’t posted today, I’ll jump in and make a prediction that your next trip will be to Egypt. You remarked that you had not seen the pyramids.

    Glad you are all better; stay that way. Keep updating us; very interesting!

  • 2 Daryl // Jul 15, 2006 at 8:35 am

    We’ll have to see about Egypt. Right now the Middle East doesn’t look like the best place to travel.