The Short Bit
Day: 21 & 22 March.
Activities: Macchu Piccu Trek.
Highlight: Goes without saying – ALL OF IT.
Panpipe song of the day: These boots were made for walking – Nancy Sinatra.
Mood: Overwhelmed, Sad to be leaving, Grateful.
Learning: The ‘inca way’ – duality, good energy & gratefulness
Hashtag: #mindovermatter #respecttheenvironment #positiveattractspositive
The Long Bit
My Boots did me proud the last couple of days hiking. Jimmy (my guide) picked me up at 5:30am Monday morning to begin the 4 hour car and train drive to the starting point of our trek Red De Caminos Inka, KM 104.
No words or pictures can relay the absolutely astounding beauty of the inca trail and Macchu Piccu. During the 13kms of often steep incline (plus a few ‘flat’ bits) we passed through 14 micro-climates and a wealth of flora and fauna including beautiful orchids, the ‘forever young’ flower, humming birds, a giant centipede and a plant that smells like cheese when it gets wet (imagine the stinkiest French cheese possible and you’re there with me).
Jimmy was hilarious company. The amount of knowledge he holds about the trail and the Inca’s is beyond belief and he had me completely gripped with his tales of inca traditions and trail facts. My favourite story related to the ‘blood tears’ flower, with its beautiful red petals symbolising the tears an Incan princess cried for her commoner true love, sent away by her father to fight in a war in order to keep them apart.
We reached , the ‘Sun Gate’ (the entrance to MP) in around 5 hours of pretty quick paced trekking stopping for lunch on the way (the best sandwich I’ve ever tasted). We were allotted 7-8 hours to complete the trek, so the hours we had saved was additional time we could spend at our final destination of Macchu Piccu, which sounds like a lot but you could be there for 2 full days and still not have explored it all.
The view from the Sun Gate is one of the most stunningly beautiful I have ever seen. So mind-blowing and overwhelming that of course I burst into tears. From this point you can see the entire complex of MP set against a back drop of mountains and cloud making it feel incredibly mystical.
MP itself has an energy and spirituality that you can physically feel and the temples and the deliberate alignment of key monuments with the sun (for astronomical and agricultural planning purposes) is awe-inspiring. All thoughts of anything ‘everyday’ completely empty from your head, while your brain tries to wrap itself around the immensity of what the Inca’s have built and the skill it took. No machines, just creativity, brute force, engineering knowledge and llamas.
Overnight was spent in Aguas Calientes a nearby town purpose built for MP visits. After a quick pizza and well-earned beer, I headed to bed at 8pm (completely exhausted but totally happy) to get rested for the next days 6am trek.
Today (Tuesday) we did a shorter trek to the Inca Bridge and then Jimmy and I decided to return to Macchu Piccu and to sit for a while just to take it all in. The weather was completely different with mist and clouds covering MP the whole time we were there, creating a very different feel.
After a scenic car and train ride, I arrived back in Cusco, where I am now sat eating something yellow – i’m not quite sure what it is, but I found some chicken in it (of course). An early night again tonight as I have an early flight to Lima tomorrow and then home.
Peru has been one of the best experiences of my life and I am truly sad to be leaving. Trust me I am coming back to explore more of this wonderful country, just as soon as I can afford it!!
I’ve learned a lot about life, people and myself on this trip. A journey I hope I have shared with you and we can all take a small lesson with us some how.
So that’s it. PERU ‘Through My Eyes’ is officially over and out xxx