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Our day at Machu Picchu – The site of the Inca’s

Submitted by on July 20, 2011 – 7:05 pm5 Comments

A view of the ruins

We checked out early from the hotel to proceed to the train station Ollanto (located in the Sacred Valley itself), to catch the Blue train of Peru Rail to Machu Picchu. The station itself was quaint and cute. Very clean trains, comfortable seats and they even served a snack to all. The journey to Machu Picchu was 27 miles (43 KMs).

Peru Rail

I have had a fascination for trains since childhood, since my father worked for the Indian Railways, I have travelled extensively on trains, taking very possible journey, every possible train in India. Further, I have travelled all over the world and have had many train journeys.

But, surely this trip, I would confidently rate as the best I ever had. the entire journey making way through the forest along side and the curving river Ollantaytambo on the other side, was simply picturesque every mile of the journey.

You could see peaks of huge mountains, dense forests, lush greenery, winding rivers, large pieces of drift wood, misty mountains, intermittent rain, tunnels and bridges. What more could one ask for. Unbelievable ride for sure. I will never forget this one for sure.

The serenity is in every direction

After the 1 hour and 30 min scenic train ride we arrived at Machu Picchu train station. We then went to meet our guide Darwin. Here we also had lockers, where we stored most of the backpacks. Even though we traveled light that day, when we arrived the rain was heavy, and we decided to ease ourselves even further, as we would have to do a lot of walking, climbing steps and more. So due to the fear of muddy and slippery trails, we decided to carry just the essentials. On hindsight, we were all glad that we did, as it made it easier to navigate the ruins.

A civilization discovered just a 100 years ago

A word on our guide Darwin. We just could not have been luckier. He was a private guide that was arranged by our travel agent Brazil Nuts and Lima tours. His English was simply impeccable, not surprising at all, as he was a veteran of 30 years experience in experiencing and conducting tours at Machu Picchu. He has even written some books on this.

So a very sincere thanks to our primary travel Planner Brazil Nuts, in particular Ney and Simone. (www.brazilnuts.com)

Also, what a very high quality hi tech tour we had. Darwin provided us with Audio Gadgets that served two purposes. One it was a wireless audio system that we could all wear on and listen to his instructions loud and very clearly. 2nd, it also could stream notes of the various sites we visited. So Darwin would introduce us to a site, and give us a brief, then he play some recorded snippets.

This helped us immensely since it allowed us to be free and easy, enabling us to walk around talking ample pictures without the need to crowd around or follow and crowd behind him, and we never missed any thing he said or the audio snippets. Really, one of the best organized tours we have had.

Now, a few words on Machu Picchu, itself. One thing is for sure, you can see as many pictures, as many videos, listen to everything people have to say, but nothing, and I mean nothing can truly describe or make you visualize Machu Picchu, as you see it being there. It’s incredibly beautiful, vastly humbling, and simply indescribable to say the least. I have travelled far and wide, and seen many places, and many wonders of the world, but this is the best I have ever seen. You simply will be humbled by this mystic beauty. You will be awe struck by what you see. It’s truly heavenly.

It surely seems a very sacred city which possibly catered to the residences for the Inca nobility and the priests.

In pure archeological terms, the complex is divided into two areas: the agricultural sector, which features – system of terraces that allowed the ancient peruvians to grow crops on the hills – and the urban sector, home to the Temple of Sol ( Sun Temple), the Residentia Real ( Royal Residence), the Plaza Sagrada ( Sacred Square), the Acllahuasi ( House of the Chosen) and the Inhutatnana ( Solar Clock). The separation is done by a ditch and a wall.

The Sun Temple

The Temple of Sol is so located that the first sun rays lights it up along with the entrance of the urban sector. It displays the finest finish on all Machu Picchu. It has 3 windows, two of which allow the sun to enter in a precise way during the summer solstice ( December 21) and the winter one ( June 21). This temple was built on natural rock.

The Temple of the Condor we saw was located on the east side. Shaped as a condor, it seemed to be possibly a temple, prison or both according to the guide. For the Incas, the condor was a sacred bird and so was worshipped through out. Sacrifices were made to honor this god possibly with dead enemies.

There are more then 170 sites featuring the architecture in which the stone has been carefully worked, a testimony to the skills of the Machu Picchu creators, who managed to seamlessly join different blocks of stone, creating solid walls without the use of mortar.
The traditional trapezoidal doors and windows stand out as the essential details of the Inca buildings.

These exceedingly well preserved archeological remains are simply dazzling, as is the beautiful environment the Incas selected for their city

A long morning and a after we sank in the beauty of the city, we made our way back to the bus that took us back to the train station. Here we had lunch in a very nice restaurant overlooking the river.

Our return back by train was interesting too, as we had some entertainment and fashion show displaying alpaca based fabrics.

Once we reached the Ollanto train station, our van was waiting for us, to take us to Cusco, where we checked into the Casa Andina Plaza hotel. I had personally selected this place ad it was just minutes from the plaza de Armas, the center for all activity at Cusco.

Still mesmerized with the magical day we had, we walked to a nearby Chifa (Chinese Peruvian) restaurant for dinner and then took to bed pretty exhausted.

5 Comments »

  • Srinivasan Venkatarajan says:

    Dileep,

    Reading through your blog post, I believe that this will be one of the memorable places that you have visited to date. Nice pictures and you have narrated it very well taking us to Machu Picchu through your words.

  • Dileep says:

    Certainly Srini,
    This will be one of my best vacations for sure. Its certainly a must visit place for all.

  • Ravi says:

    Oh, it was so nice to read your journey to the Inca’s kingdom at Machu Pichu. Your visit was almost on the eve of the centenary of discovery of the ruins of Machu Pichu on JUly 24th.

    Ravi

  • Dileep says:

    Thanks Ravi for your comment. Yes, in fact the days we were in Cisco & Machu Picchu, there were lot of parade and dance practices all over the towns for their special day. Though, this was unplanned we were lucky to visit around this time and also obtain a memorable certificate from the Tourism board on the same.

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