Churches are to Italy what ruins are to Peru. (Okay, there are plenty of ruins in Italy too). We have seen more Incan ruins than I can count on our trip, but some impressive ones include Sacasyhuaman, Qurikancha, Pisac, and Ollantaytambo. Today however was the beginning of the Grand Finale of ruins…The Lost City of Machu Picchu. I don’t remember learning about Machu Picchu as a kid or when I first realized it was a place I really wanted to visit. However, It has gotten higher and higher on my bucket list the last few years. Today I was able to make my dream of seeing this magical place a reality. It definitely felt surreal.
I like to research like a crazy person before I go on a trip. I read a ton about this place, including a book called Turn Right at Machu Picchu. I was expecting to be very impressed, but let me tell you, Mach Picchu lives up to every great thing you have heard about it. Also, seeing this place in person was so much more magical than anything I could read in a book. We had a really good guided tour in the morning where I learned a ton of information about this lost city, the only one the Spaniards never found.
After the tour we went up to a good lookout point for some pictures. Unfortunately, it was raining which didn’t make for the best pictures, but we still got some good ones. I had picked July to go to Peru specifically because it is dry season, and it doesn’t rain in dry season. WRONG. Damn global warming. We totally made the best of it though. We weren’t going to let a little rain ruin anything for us. We even got some shots of some new friends.
Once we felt we got some good shots, it was off to the Sun Gate. This is where people who do the traditional Inca trail arrive for their first glimpse of the ruins. I had no idea how far or hard this was, I just went with it. We kept walking up and up and up. I thought we had reached our destination about three times. I kept saying, this has to be it! But when we did finally reach it we knew it. We chilled for a while, watching the beautiful scenery, even in the rain.
The climb to the Sun Gate was a good warm up for what lay ahead at Huayna Picchu the next day. We climbed back down and realized we had spent 7 hours taking in the beauty of this place. While I love my photos, they really don’t capture the feeling of being there. A lot of the pictures I have taken probably just look like big rocks and stones but they are much more than that. It is something I recommend seeing with your own eyes. I can promise you, you will not be disappointed.
“Let the Rain” -Sara Bareilles