Machu Picchu

To visit the ruined Inca city of Machu Picchu has long been a dream for the both of us. Just to see a photograph of its beautiful grass covered terracing and its impossible location is awe inspiring.

Not a lot is known about Machu Picchu. It was built at some point in the 15th century but was abandoned and thus the conquering Spanish did not find it luckily. Therefore it remains in astoundingly good condition. It is a Unesco World Heritage site and Peru’s number one tourist attraction.

Just in case anybody reading this has never heard of Machu Picchu we will jump straight in with the typical photograph. We took this one from the same spot where everybody else take a snap.

What sets Machu Picchu above other Inca and pre-Inca sites is its incredible location. It sits perilously atop a mountain in what is an incredibly mountainous region. Just getting to it is a feat so the fact that such a vast city was built here beggars belief. All but one side is too steep to climb and the walking route up looked hellish from our bus.

This is yet another moment when words don’t really do the subject justice. So here are some photographs of the site.

After much exploring, which involved a fair amount of climbing we decided to head out and explore the Inca Drawbridge. This was a security feature of a perilous alternative route into Machu Picchu. A narrow walkway was dug into the side of a cliff face. At the point where they built the drawbridge the walkway was built using stonework alone.

It is no longer possible to cross the drawbridge after a tourist fell and died a few years back. But we could get close enough to get to realise we wouldn’t want to cross it anyway. Just getting there was terrifying!

By this point the sun was starting to get to us so we decided to find a quiet spot to sit and take things in. We found the perfect place….

Sitting here for an hour was probably the best part of the day. Wandering through the buildings was interesting but taking in the view is what Machu Picchu is really about.

Interestingly whilst sitting here we pieced together that the previous day we had walked right around Machu Picchu, though it is so high we didn’t realise.  To give you some idea how high Machu Picchu is this photograph was taken from our relaxed vantage point and shows the place from which we started to walk.

Before leaving we decided to have one final walk around the site.

(this large rock is apparently supposed to mimic the mountains in the background)

Eventually we were tired and headed back down to Aguas Calientes.

Machu Picchu is as amazing as people say. It always figures in the “places to see before you die” lists and rightfully so.

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