Saturday, October 15, 2016

15 in the Peruvian Andes – more Machu Pikchu!

Our second day at Machu Picchu was as good as the first one, if not even better. First, there was way less stress in the morning! This day we got up even earlier, and were lining up by 3:45am or so. Sure, awfully early, but that way we were much further ahead in the line, and didn't worry about not making it on time to enter the mountain! In fact, we were at the mountain's gate right before 7:00am! 

And that meant – even though we hadn't planned for it – watching the sunrise! Wow, what a nice surprise! Seeing the sun coming from behind the mountains, preceded by beams of light, and with a view of the ruins themselves was quite a spectacle. So, you see? The day began just great! 

The next step? Climbing up the mountain, again. But not all the way to the summit. Doing that once was more than enough. What we wanted to do this time was simply climb up a bit, slow, enjoy the views of the ruins, and find a couple of spots where the habib could do some Butoh. Given the nature of the place, all of this was all too simple! Well, maybe except for one tiny detail – when my habibi was almost done with his Butoh improvs, a guard came by... and threatened with kicking us out of Machu Picchu for disrespecting the sacredness of the place! Say what!?!? Yes. Our zealous site-guard considered my habib's Butoh an act of disrespect to "the sacred site". Fortunately, I managed to talk the guy out of expelling us, and we had already filmed quite a bit. Crazy experience! 

From there we headed to the ruins, but this time we explored a different section. While my habibi wanted to sit down and enjoy some views, I really wanted to explore a trail that led to the "Inca bridge". So, I took off, and agreed to return soon, safe, and sound.

That was one brilliant short hike. The path crossed the jungle at points, which was very refreshing, and the views of the mountains in the distance were beautiful! The bridge itself was quite curious, but people are not allowed on it anymore after someone fell to their death a couple of years ago. Shame. 

Back at the ruins, we had one last, leisurely walk around the parts we didn't visit the day before...

And finally it was time to definitively say good-bye to Machu Picchu. The habib decided to take the van down. Me? I was dying to hike all the way down and back to the hotel. So I accompanied the habib in line until he finally got into a van, and I started a very long but gorgeous descent from the ruins into the valley below... 

And, once at the bottom, a walk along the river all the way to town. I guess it took me all of two hours or so. And just some 5-6 bug bites! I had forgotten the jungle was infested with some bugs that left some very nasty bites, and I took my jacket off for just 5 minutes or so. Later that night I realized my mistake, although I got away way easier than other foreigners that probably didn't know about the bugs and hiked in shorts or t-shirts, with hundreds of bright red bites showing all over their exposed flesh!

Machu Picchu, you were one expensive pain in the ass to visit. And yet you were worth it all. Totally.

From here we had only two more places to visit: Písac, and Cusco for our flight back...

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