Saturday 15th August 2015 afternoon
We grabbed some bus tickets to go up from Aguas Calientes to Macchu Picchu and here we were in the bus almost immediately. It was about 1pm and Anouk and I were off to Macchu Picchu!!! I was really happy to go to this very special site with a really good friend of mine. It made it even more special, something we would remember for long! The landscape from the bus itself was already worth going up!
And here we got, at the entrance of Macchu Picchu. Not much queue that day at 1pm.
When you start walking towards seeing Macchu Picchu, you already have this beautiful view on your right.
Getting closer, getting excited, but the full site still not in view.
And here we are, after climbing a few steps up, the postcard view known all over the world. The gorgeous mountain right behind it is called Huayna Picchu (little mountain). Macchu Picchu was “discovered” by the American explorer Hiram Bingham in 1911, when a local boy showed him the site. Macchu Picchu means old mountain. It was built around 1450 and never found by the Spanish conquistadors and therefore is one of the most intact ruins of the Incas. There are many theories on why Macchu Picchu was built but none is 100% sure, which makes the site even more mysterious.
We took a path to go first to Intipunku, la Puerta del Sol, the Sun Gate.
When turning back, here is the view.
Up the path we go.
We see first this giant stone.
And another stone quite flat which may have served for offerings.
We keep walking on the path towards the Sun Gate.
The site with the giant stone we just passed.
And here we got at the Sun Gate. It was once the main entrance to Macchu Picchu and a checkpoint to control who was entering and exiting the Sanctuary. More info here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inti_Punku
This is the Inca Trail`s end. Nowadays, people arrive from it to the Sun Gate at sunrise when doing the 4-day trek.
Seen from above
People contemplate the view we have from here of Macchu Picchu.
Nice view indeed. The zig-zag line is called the Hiram Bingham highway and is the road the buses take every day to bring and bring back the visitors.
On our way back to the main site from the Sun Gate, we saw these llamas.
Turning back. See the mountain top over there?
This is Montana Picchu, that we will climb tomorrow morning early before the sun hits.
Smurfette at the main site.
We get down to walk around. It is 3pm and there are already less people now. We remain on the site until 5pm. Best time!
Map of Macchu Picchu. Copyright Wikipedia page. There is so much to read about Macchu Picchu! If you want lots more information, go here! 🙂 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machu_Picchu
Another map. Copyright of this site. Very simple clear easy to follow explanations about the different spots. Check it out! http://www.peru-machu-picchu.com/
The houses are so well preserved.
Some of the city with the mountains in the background.
The Sacred Plaza.
Another shot of the Sacred Plaza.
View of the Central Plaza.
The guys in blue are cleaning up the site every day, getting rid of the rubbish some tourists left there.
We got to this place, the rock in the background is called the Sacred Rock. In the Inca culture, before a village could be erected, a Sacred Rock had to be dedicated to the site.
We reached the closed gate with lets 400 people enter every morning in 2 groups to climb Huayna Picchu. There we saw this animal which looked a bit hurt by some other animal probably. Not sure about its name?
When we booked our tickets for Macchu Picchu in May, 3 months before, the tickets to climb Wayna Picchu were already sold out. My dad climbed it in 1977! So cool to think he saw Macchu Picchu 40 years ago!!
View of the surroundings.
The 3 doors
A guy from Google was there that day, walking around taking videos of Macchu Picchu to offer it in Google Earth soon probably!
Temple of the condors. The stones are shaped in the shape of a condor`s wings. On the floor, the stone is carved as a condor too.
We saw this sort of rabbit there called viscacha.
A system of irrigation conducts the water from top to bottom to all ancient houses.
We decided to walk down through the main road rather than the stairs to have a clear view of the surroundings.
Beautiful in the sunset light
Macchu Picchu also looked gorgeous when seen from below.
Arriving at Aguas Calientes
Night shot of the mountain, very high ISO and 2 secondS exposure. Wish I had taken my tripod, remote controller and wide angle!
It took us about 2 hours to walk down. We changed our mind and decide to not walk to the site the next morning but rather take the bus. We bought return tickets for it as well as sandwich and snacks for the day. There was this Cafe de Paris selling great sandwiches.
In the evening we had our first Pisco Sour!
Tomorrow, off to Macchu Picchu again in the early morning!