Today was unreal. UNREAL! We had our last adventure in Peru, exploring Machu Picchu. We woke up bright and early to catch the bus from town to the ruins. Travel advice if you’re going to Peru: make sure you buy your bus tickets the day before and plan on waiting in line for a bus for about 45 minutes (during peak tourist season). You also can’t go into Machu Picchu without buying tickets in advance – make sure you do that! We had tickets to climb Wayna Picchu at 7am (they sell the tickets in group times so that there aren’t 300 people on the trail at once). If you’re going to Peru during tourist season (summer time in the states), buy your hiking tickets a few months in advance! Anyways…we got in line for the bus at 5:30 am and got to Machu Picchu at 6:30am. Once there we had to wait in line again to get in…blah…but it went by quickly.
When we entered the site, I got chills all over. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I couldn’t believe I was witnessing something I’ve only ever seen in history books. Pictures don’t do it justice. You have to be there, you have to walk the trails and feel the stones.
We were scheduled to do the WaynaPicchu hike (it’s means “young mountain”) which overlooks the ruins. This was about a 2.5 hour trek round trip and extremely steep. There was also a part in the hike where we had to shimmy through a little cave…I’m afraid of very few things, but I am quite claustrophobic, so going through the cave was a challenge I overcame today!
Although tough and scary sometimes, the hike was amazing. Our views overlooked the ruins and the sun was shining through fluffy white clouds…everything looked so pristine. We could see snow-capped mountains surrounding us and every look took my breath away. I remember sitting on a rock, overlooking the jungle and beauty, thinking how did I get this lucky. Is this real life? I was once again brought back to an intense moment of gratitude.
After our hike, we met up with a couple we met on the train and hired a tour guide to take us through the ruins. Another Peru tip: if you want a tour guide for anything you’re seeing, it’s cheaper to be in a group of at least 5 people. Having the guide was worth every penny and I learned SO much about the sacred city. We explored the ruins, took pictures, did some yoga and loved life. Also, the llamas came right up to us and we got some great selfies! It was absolutely perfect. I think one of the best parts was having Katriena on my back on a ledge overlooking the city. We scared the crap out of people but they were totes jealous of our awesome photo (see below).
If I had to pick a favorite thing I’ve done here, Machu Picchu would win, hands down. The way I felt when I was there is something I can’t describe. It’s incredible. It’s historic. It’s finally something I’ve experienced and I cherished every moment of it.
After our blissfully, adventurous day, we got wood fired pizza (YES, Peruvians know how to do pizza right), did a little shopping and caught our train back to Ollantaytambo. Tomorrow is our last day in Peru and we will spend it making chocolate in Cuzco!
** I took a gazillion pictures today…these are just a few!