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marge & ian’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 29 Jan 2006

Location: *MACHUPICCU - PERU* - DAY 4, Peru

Map*MACHUPICCHU - PERU* - DAY 4 - yaaaayyyyy!!

28/01/06

TOTAL WALKING TIME: Brochure said 2 hrs but we did it in 45mins!
TOTAL DISTANCE: 7km

Woke up at 4.00am and we quickly ate breakfast and then walked to the control point of Machupicchu, got there at 5.00am and waited for the gates to open at 5.30am.

We had heard loads of horror stories about people running and pushing you out of the way to get the best places to view the "Sungate" first (The Sungate is the sun rising and illuminating Machupicchu). We waited around in anticipation, Ian was frantically chewing on his Coca leaves, my ankle was fully strapped up and I had taken some very strong pain killers to ease the pain. There was NO WAY I was going to be the last to the famous "Sungate"!!!....

...on your marks...get set... go...the gates were open!... we all started off walking well fast some people running, we had to be very careful and had been told to keep to the left as there was a gigantic drop which would result in sudden death, to our right. We did as we were instructed and kept to the left.

Where Ian was concerned I don´t know what was going faster his jaw or his legs! Where I was concerned I have Nooo idea what happened to me but I was jogging all the way, there was even a point towards the end where we literally had to climb up about 50 steps on our hands and knees because there was no way that gravity would allow you to walk up them normally, I felt as though I was possessed by an Inca Spirit!!! We were jogging, jogging, jogging (thank god for the 3 days preparation otherwise we never would have managed it!) when all of a sudden we stopped. I thought that we must have at least another 1/2 hour to go, but no, we were there at the "Sungate"!!! I was obviously walking/jogging faster than I thought!!

We stood there in jublilation and viewed our "prize", I was almost in tears as we viewed Machupicchu for the very first time, I don´t know whether it was relief of actually being there or whether it was the magical aura. All I know is that it took my breath away. It was all the guide had described us throughout the trip, truly truly "mystical looking my friends"!! We stood in awe for about 20 minutes, had our snaps taken and then made our descent for about another 20 minutes to walk around it. We had heard that Machupicchu was best viewed with a little cloud as it makes it look more mystical, this is how it was when we got there and it was completely true. We were very very lucky as the whole of the 3 days had been cloud and the day before the groups had very poor views of the site, so we were sooo lucky at this time of year to get the views and weather that we did.

I was sooo excited and happy, it was fantastic as there were only say 100 people there at that time, who had made the trail, the hoards of tourist buses would only be arriving 2 hours later.

I did the walk down more or less on my own as Ian was paralysed by a gigantic 4 day old poo! Every so often I would pass Ian and say hello, who would look back at me with a look of sheer panic on his face that he would soil himself! The situation was made worse by the fact that his bladder was also ripping at the seams - hahahaha poor Ian! (even now, typing this story I am laughing my head off at the funniness of the whole situation!!!!).

The guide kept on pointing out "this is the best view of Machupicchu", so we all obviously kept on stopping (much to Ian´s horror) to take more photies! Finally got down to the site and found the "Baños" for Ian who was now truly walking like Bambi! Ian dashed into the loo and didn´t emerge for a good 15 minutes later, with a mixed look of relief and disgust on his face. I won´t got into detail about what happened in the Baños but lets just say that he had to flush the toilet 3 times!!!!

We were then given a tour around Machupicchu which took about an hour, and then we had our own free time to roam. Some people climbed the famous "Wannupichu" which was an hour walk up a sheer pointy mountain, with terrifying drops, hence to say we didn´t attempt it, I climbed the much smaller pointy mountain next to it.

The day was amazing, Machupicchu was amazing. I will let the pictures speak for themselves (although they don´t do it justice).

THE END