Wayna Picchu & More Llamas

13 10 2007

First, apologies to those who cannot view the photos I posted the other day.. some could view them in normal size, some couldn^t. At home I know how to diminish photo size, but not on these computers and in Spanish. Also, the apostrophe on this computer does not work… oh well.

I^m exhausted, so this is hopefully going to make sense. Here goes.

Machu Picchu-an incredible view of Incan intelligence at work, planning, orchestrating, changing when times necessitated (or as one of the theories goes, leaving when the final time necessitated… though it^s unknown where..or if that theory is even correct). Machu Picchu-a place to meet tons of interesting international travelers.

Yesterday we woke up early and got in the Machu Picchu line at 5:20 or so. First bus left at 5:30. We were on bus 2…. leaving a few minutes afterwards. Gates opened at 6, but Wayna Picchu (that mountain I forgot how to spell) gate didn^t open until 7, so we were in line for an hour. Sat on rocks, talked to others, Cathy took more llama photos (I^ll show them all to you, Will K.), gate opened, and we were climbers 16, 17 and 18 into Wayna Picchu. Only 400 allowed in a day. Hike takes about an hour, it^s said. An hour and 8 minutes for us. Which included lots of stops, sometimes to sit and catch breath (high altitude), sometimes to give burning legs a rest, sometimes to let others pass us).

Incans were not short. We found out later that the last king of the Incans, Pachacutec, is believed to be 7 feet tall… a-ha. That^s why my legs still burn today. All the stairs going up Wayna Picchu (and it^s mostly stairs) are uneven, but also high…higher than the average stair. Especially for the vertically-challenged. Oof. Tiring.

The top? so worth all that pain. Beautiful views of Machu Picchu, great conversations with other travelers. Great to hang out and eat our Caribou Coffee Granola Bars, dried fruit mix, cheez-its, and drink water.

Apparently, Wayna Picchu was built (not the mountain, but the stairways all the way up and buildings on top) in case of attack from intruders. The important Incans could retreat to Wayna Picchu, and perhaps even destroy the trail on the way up. It was a good retreat place. Not many intruders would make it up, with no trail. For one thing, their legs would burn too much.

The way down from WP was pretty harsh, but done in 35 minutes. Whew. From there we visited the Temple of the Condor at Machu Picchu, photographed and pet more llamas (are you sensing a theme here?), and left the park.

Back in Aguas Calientes we ate lunch, saw Peruvian friends whom we had met in our Cuzco hotel on the street, wandered through the market, drank coffee and Coca Tea, and picked up our bags for our train ride back to Cuzco, back to our “home”, Hotel Belvidere in the San Blas neighborhood, “our” neighborhood.

This morning in a strange moment of the trip, I woke up at 4:15, when our alarms were set for 5:15…. not sure why. I thought my alarm went off. So I got up and showered, and realized that I was up an hour early. UGH! When I returned to the room I looked at my watch and sure enough, I was up early.  So I told Jim and Jo Ann to go back to sleep…I put a towel in my hair, and slept until Jim^s alarm went off at 5:15!

Today we took the Inka Express Bus to Puno…. tomorrow we^re taking a boat on Lake Titicaca… tonight I^m exhausted..and going to bed soon. Very soon.

Hope you^re all well, and next time I blog, I^ll fill in about today^s bus ride. Suffice it to say, lots of llamas and alpacas…. life is good, sometimes!


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