Sunday, March 25, 2012
Machu picchu: day 1
Wow wow, wow, wow, wow!!!!!! We woke up at 4:15 this morning (groan!) to start our adventure to visit machu picchu. I discovered that the rooster that's been crowing every morning likes to begin his day at 4:30am. Our group boarded the bus, which took us to the perurail. This train was beautiful and even had windows in the ceiling so you could see the full mountains. I thought I might be lulled to sleep between the rocking of the train and the spa-like music they were playing but apparently the sights that the sacred valley has to offer are too exciting to miss. This country is beautiful! The train dropped us off at kilometer 104 to begin our all day hike. The hike was amazing and the knowledge of our guide was equally impressive. This is probably the most strenuous hike I've ever done, and yet it is by far the most rewarding hike I've ever done. On our way to machu picchu we past 2 Incan villages. One of those villages was winawayna, where we ate our lunch. What a breathtaking place to see. The view that this particular village has to offer is literally breathtaking! I could easily imagine the Incan people farming those terraces. I can't believe how big this place actually is. We were hiking terraces of the winawayna that haven't been uncovered for about about 10 minutes before we could even see the village! The incas must have been in such good shape! I can't even tell you how many stairs I hiked up today. I almost felt like I was a contestant on biggest loser huffing my way through the insane challenges they have the contestants do. The orchids were equally fascinating. All along the way we were able to see so many natural orchids growing. I loved it! And the bug type animals we came across ... So cool! We experienced every possible weather this rainforest ha to offer, from hot and dry to rainy and cold, and even rainy and warm. I peed in my first hole today as well. Surprisingly it wasn't that bad and I even found it easier than hovering over the seatless toilets at the school in urubamba. The hike was amazing and it kept getting better and better and better, finally ending at the sun gate to machu picchu. You round a corner on the mountain, climb even more Incan stairs to the top of the peak, where there are stone gates. After this incredible experience just imagine the feeling of walking through those gates and seeing the breathtaking view of machu picchu below. The sight of this wonder literally took my breath away! We continued to hike down and spent only a little time in the ancient city because we are going again tomorrow. What a discovery this treasure is. I have no words to express how I felt standing there and eing what these people accomplished. We boarded the bus and drove to the town below. Our hotel was overbooked so we got bumped up to their sister hotel and let me tell you .... We scored! This place was incredible! By far the most beautiful place I have ever stayed, hands down. The rooms were exquisite and the views were even better. My sweetie booked us a very special date night. We we had a sauna in a grass hut outside. The inside were covered with eucalyptus leaves, candles, a rocke fire pit in the center and some wooden beds to lay on. We talked and drank fresh lemonade that they brought to us. Then we hurried and ate our yummy meal in the window restaurant with our group and boogied off to a couples massage. What a romantic night we had!!! I even got to talk to the boys tonight! This may be one of the best days I've ever experienced ever!!