May 6, 2009

Two Majestic Days in Machu Picchu

I dont know if I can describe the last two days, dont know if there are words in the English language vast enough, magical enough, paramount enough to describe and detail going to Machu Picchu, arriving, and then being there.

The bus ride up the hill from Aguas Calientes takes about 20 minutes, and you literally wind and turn and wind and turn, the buses coming up competing with the buses coming down, the drivers obviously skilled, jockeying for safe positions on a very narrow path. There are people on the bus from all over the world, France, Spain, England, Japan, China, Italy, Canada, Germany, USA and more. All ages, sizes, flavors, there are the very experienced travelers with all the gear, hats, vests, backpacks, walking sticks, water bottles, everything. There are trekers who look like they have not had a good bath in days, with great tans and great smiles, indicative of all the adventure they have experienced. Everyone happy, smiling, ready, ready for the first view of Machu Pichhu, and you really dont get to see it until you get off the bus and walk through the parks official entry point.

We had a marvelous guide yesterday, David. He was extremely knowledgeable, funny, answered all our questions. He was very attentive, made sure to give us all the stops necessary to catch our breaths as we walked up to the high points in Machu Picchu. WE had a nice visit for about 3 hours, then we came back down to town of Aguas Calientes, walked around, explored, took naps and enjoyed the rest of the day.

We are staying at the Inkaterra Lodge, an amazing hotel, nestled on the side of a hill, overlooking the Urubamba River and the last portion of the track where the Peru Rail trains come in daily. The hotel is amazing, beautiful, everywhere you go can hear water running, they have fountains everywhere. It is green green green, the grounds filled with plants, trees, flowers and eucalyptus everywhere. The rooms all have patios or balconies surrounded by gardens with reclyner chairs, it is peaceful yet energizing all at the same time.

Today early in the morning I ran into one of the nature guides from the hotel, we chatted for a bit, he commented how fortunate we are as 2 or 3 days ago he said it was raining everyday. We have been blessed, no one has gotten sick, and the days here in Aguas Calientes and up at Machu Picchu we have been surrounded by the most blue blue skies I have ever seen. I dont know if the photos will do the skies justice, I will send out the photo link upon our return to USA.

Today some in the group ventured to MP again, this time without the guide. Susan and Liz left early, on the 7:30 bus and are hiking up the trail to the Puerta del Sol, The Door of The Sun. The guide yesterday estimated the hike would take them about 2 hours max. We are looking forward to their return to hear the stories of their journey.

I along with Roger and Mary went up on the 8:30 am bus and walked around at our own pace, seeing thing we did not see the first time. There is so much to explore and enjoy and marvel at. Machu Picchu is elegant, structured, orderly, vast, grand, quiet, the house of souls of noble people, smart people, and great engineers. The awe and amazement is with you after you leave, yesterday after I was back at the hotel, images just kept running through my mind. I felt a presence of calm and energy all at the same time, coupled with a sense of goodness. It is hard to describe, I am sure the experience for all is different.
And yes many people are hugging rocks, laying on boulders, communing in some respect with the granduer of what MP is and represents.

Nikki and Sue and Cindy stayed at the hotel and got SPA treatments. Will get the reviews later today.

Today we are headed back to Cusco via Peru Rail, we are on the Vistadome train, it is a wonderful, pleasant ride through the beautiful and lush Sacred Valley. The train rides along the Urubamba River most of the way, the views are breath taking. We should be in Cusco by 7pm, ready for a walk around the Plaza.

There is so much more to share, I will update the blog when I get to Cusco. I have to go find my group and get in a little lunch before we get on the train at 3pm. Saludos to All. Maddie and Morgan, we send kisses.