On the 4th day of the Inca trail, we got up very early – 3:15a.m to hike the last bit of the trail to reach to Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu means “Old Mountain” in Quechua language. It was constructed around year 1450 by the Incas and later anbandoned after the Spanish conquest. It was later found in 1911 by Hiram Bingham in 1911.
We reached the Sun Gate at dawn and it was just magical to see the entire Machu Picchu site covered in cloud/fog. Machu Picchu is down in the valley and the Sun Gate is higher up in the mountain and all we could see in the valley was a white could covering the entire site. It was just magical to see the city starting to rise up amongst the clouds gradually as the clouds started to dissipate. It was so worth waking up early, wearing our rain ponchos, hiking in the wet trail to watch this great moment !!
After that we hiked down to go to the actual Machu Picchu site and our guide gave a tour of the city of Machu Picchu (or as William the guide put is so well.. a tour of his office). We learnt about the history and the different sites and architectures within Machu Picchu and then we the entire day to hike out on our own and visit the place. Some people in our group climbed up Wayna Picchu, a mountain close by, from which you could have better views of Machu Picchu. I had done enough climbing over these past days. So decided to skip on that 🙂
When I was a kid, I used to watch and love a cartoon called “Les Mysterieuses Cites D’or” and the theme was actually Machu Pichu and a mysterious golden city. I am glad I actually got to visit the site of the cartoon which I loved so much – ( watch a clip of the cartoon ).
My train was to leave Aguas Caliente (Machu Picchu town) at 9:45p.m. So, we could either go to the city and hang out or just hang out at Machu Picchu – I chose the later and hung out in Machu Picchu till it closed. The city is really amazing – it’s so great to see that the Inca civilization was able to build such an archictectural feat in the days without any major motorized equipment. Machu Picchu also used to be a spiritual center for the Incas and thus it has lot of spirituality associated with it and good energy. It was good to roam about and just experience the magic of Machu Picchu.
Took one of the last buses from Machu Picchu to Aguas Caliente and met up with the guides for last good bye and thank you and hung out with some people from the group before taking the train/bus back to Cusco.