We got in line for the day’s first set of busses at 4:30 AM, to make sure we were some of the first people let into Machu Picchu. The air was cool, and clouds clung to the nearly empty ruins around us.
We climbed a not often climbed set of stairs.
And started to explore the architecture.
We got friendly with the local llamas,
and started to wonder: what’s cooler, Machu Picchu or the surrounding mountains?
Elizabeth was quick to point out that the Incas thought of them as one and the same.
We looked around and congratulated ourselves again on arriving before the crowds. It really is pretty cool to be here alone.
After a little over an hour of exploring the ruins, we decided to take advantage of the second part of the tickets we purchased and climb The Mountain! The Mountain is advertised as a trail, but it’s really more of a 2,000+ ft. staircase.
At first, the views below us were clouded in, well, clouds… But soon Machu Picchu began to appear.
After a few thousand more steps and many breaks, we reached the top.
And we saw that it was good.
Eventually, we had to head back down… Parts were treacherously narrow.
And parts went through charming patches of rainforest.
When we returned to the bottom we were exhausted.
We looked back and up look at The Mountain and felt a swell of pride. See that tiny little flag up there? That’s where we were.
But now it was time to leave. On our way out, we took one final photo.
It was only 1:00PM but we had had quite a day. We were tired, on top of the world, and still hours away from realizing that germs already inside us were about to take advantage of our exhaustion in the most unappealing ways. But more on that next week.
Will & Elizabeth