Monday, September 28, 2015

Day 9: We Conquered Machu Picchu

After no more than 4 hours of sleep, we were up and ready to start climbing Machu Picchu. We could sense the nerves and excitement in the air--there was no turning back now! The majority of our group chose the adventurous route of hiking, while the rest enjoyed a relaxing bus ride up to the top. So at about 4:15 am, those of us who chose to hike started our trek to the base of the mountain. With our backpacks on, a flashlight in hand, and our ticket and passport in the other, we walked along the river to the entrance. There, we were met with approximately 100 other hikers who were waiting to enter Machu Picchu as well.

At exactly 5 am, the bridge was opened and we started our hike up of over 2,000 stairs. 
It took us a while to get into the groove of the hike, as it was difficult to climb the steep and uneven steps with absolutely zero sunlight. The trek was as mentally challenging as it was physically. With breaks every now and then, we were pushing through our exhaustion, trying to ignore our burning lungs and thighs!

About 45 minutes into the hike, the sun started to grace us with its presence. We could see the top of the mountain, which was when we started climbing even faster. During the entire hike, we encouraged each other to keep pushing through!

After an hour and eight minutes of climbing the steps, we made it to the top! Juan was waiting for us on the final step and greeted each of us with a smile and a huge pat on the back. We were so thrilled to have accomplished this huge journey together. Being able to say that we have climbed Machu Picchu was definitely something to be proud of!

After a short wait, we entered the ruins with Vincent, who was able to explain the history behind the mountain. There are no words to describe the beauty and mystery of Machu Picchu. An hour later, we were able to take a snack break, admiring the view at the same time. We then did a little exploring on our own, taking pictures every chance we could. We found a few spots to sit and enjoy the peace and serenity that comes with being on top of a mountain. Looking down, we could see the bridge that we crossed before starting our hike. All the way from the top of the mountain, the bridge looked like nothing more than the size of an ant.


About five hours later, we started to make our way back to Aguas Calientes, where we enjoyed a much needed lunch. Those that hiked up the mountain were starting to feel the muscles in our legs and back grow stiffer and stiffer as time went on. We were grateful for the train and bus ride back to Cusco late that afternoon, where we could rest and take a nap.

The people at Milhouse welcomed us back to Cusco with a great dinner that evening! We turned in early that evening to catch up on our lack of sleep from the night before. While we were sore and tired, we were beaming with joy and happiness for getting to see one of the seven wonders of the world!

No comments:

Post a Comment