I am sitting in an airport lounge in Josef Chavez International in Lima, Peru waiting for our flight to Miami. We had just flown in from Cuzco in what I believe to be a concord because the plane went so fast – we arrived here in two-thirds of the time it would have if it had flown normally, my fingers and toes still tingling from the altitude changes. The WiFi at the lounge is fantastic, and free. After 4 days of expensive (therefore used very little) WiFi, I latched onto this like a hungry wolf on an alpaca.
But I could have done without the internet for longer, and a non-tether would not have mattered because a world wonder beckoned.
Glorious Machu Picchu.
Thank you for traveling with PeruRail. We wish you a magical and memorable time.
That was the parting message from staff of the Vistadome train when we finally arrived at the station a bit over 3 hours later. I could hardly sit still. I was as excited as when I was about to see the Pyramids of Giza. But this one made me work for it playing peekaboo in an obscure place in the mountains.
The final ascent up the steep mountain to the entrance took another 30mins by bus. At this point, I felt like I could run to the entrance faster than Usain Bolt.
We did all the necessary paperwork and finally, we were in. (You actually needed your passport to enter and you can get a Machu Picchu stamp afterwards. Do it after because there’d be a momentary swell of pride and happiness to see your accomplishment validated.)
I got a glimpse of it as I rounded the corner, but our guide told us not to get excited yet and to climb higher to see the whole thing instead. When we got to the top, he said with a big smile, “Welcome to Machu Picchu.”
And what a welcome it was.
I was gasping at the top. For air or out of awe? I think both. We sat along one of the ledges to listen to our wonderful guide tell us the stories of the how it came to be, how the Incans planned and strategized, their religion, how they lived, how they died, how to tell importance of a person by looking at architecture of the building he/she lived in. Incans also had ‘commandments’ they lived by : To Love, To Learn and To Work. The last two reminded me of my government. Ha!
My heart sang the whole time – chatting about Incans while munching on biscuits (not actually allowed, but do not leave anything behind and you should be fine) and sipping water. The pleasures of life. 🙂
And we met with a friend too – Biscacha, a local Chinchilla.