Inca Trail to Machu Picchu – Part 4 of 4 “Finding the Lost City”

It was a long journey, I mean the posting about it not the actual trek. Here, two months after I was there, is the final post on my Machu Picchu experience.

Day 3 was exhausting and beautiful. After visiting the ruins at Winaywayna and eating a late dinner we had our porter tipping ceremony under the stars. Then a meeting about how it would all work the next day.

Finally we prepped for a 3:30 am rise and crawled into our tiny tents at the edge of a cliff at 9:30 or so.

Despite the exhaustion, or perhaps partly because of it, I was in a dreamlike state. The moon and stars were shining bright on the campsite until the rain started. I stayed in my tent dreaming of our arrival at the Sun gate. I imagined the city with the light of the rising sun illuminating it right in front of my eyes.

Even the best efforts of my imagination could not anticipate how incredible the experience was.

We woke up early so we could get a good place in line at the checkpoint, which opened at 5:30 am. The problem was that every other group had this idea too, so we had to wait in a fairly significant line. On this day however, waiting in line was not a problem. In fact, the condensed number of Machu Picchu yearning spirits heightened the excitement building it monumental proportions.

The sun rose to reveal the path
The sun rose to reveal the path

The sun began to rise behind the mountains to the east of us as we finally passed the checkpoint.
Then the race was on. The rising sun on our backs, or backpacks, as we charged to the sun gate, yearning to see the illuminating dance the suns rays play on the city every morning.

The trail was as beautiful as ever in the rising sun and the valley next to the one with the city is a fantastic place. At some points we were almost running to get there, until we reached this nearly vertical stair climb near the end of it.

And then the gate was in sight. As I crossed the threshold I saw the expanse of the city below. I cannot describe the euphoric feeling that washed over me in that moment. 11 years in my mind and 4 days on the trail, but now it is real. The sun was rising behind us spreading over the city gradually as we witnessed it in all its glory.

Machu Picchu and passport finding party rum!! 11-11-12 189
First Glimpse

It is more magnificent than any picture or anticipating imagination could attempt to envision.

The rest of this post will be in photo format. Since my words are rather incapable of encompassing the depth and breadth of the experience.

Enjoy

A little more light
A little more light
A little closer
A little closer

Lake Titicaca and Machu Picchu 11-5-31 713

We were all so happy to be there, you can't even tell how tired we are.
We were all so happy to be there, you can’t even tell how tired we are.
okay time to hike down
okay time to hike down
and now for a little yoga
and now for a little yoga

Machu Picchu and passport finding party rum!! 11-11-12 192

with the guides after the tour
with the guides after the tour

Machu Picchu and passport finding party rum!! 11-11-12 201Lake Titicaca and Machu Picchu 11-5-31 874Lake Titicaca and Machu Picchu 11-5-31 873Lake Titicaca and Machu Picchu 11-5-31 825Lake Titicaca and Machu Picchu 11-5-31 811Lake Titicaca and Machu Picchu 11-5-31 795Lake Titicaca and Machu Picchu 11-5-31 824

The cost of climbing Huayna Picchu too swiftly and not securely enough :)
The cost of climbing Huayna Picchu too swiftly and not securely enough 🙂
It's worht it
It iiisss worth it
at the summit
at the summit

Lake Titicaca and Machu Picchu 11-5-31 834Lake Titicaca and Machu Picchu 11-5-31 867

The inca bridge that connected Machu Picchu to Winaywayna
The inca bridge that connected Machu Picchu to Winaywayna
a closer look
a closer look
Relaxing
Relaxing
Walking down to Aguas Calientes, it is better to take the bus.
Walking down to Aguas Calientes, it is better to take the bus.

And so that is all I have for now about Machu Picchu. Maybe someday I will return to the fabled city, but for now it is one magnificent dream realized. I have many other dreams to make real and adventures to have.

Viva Aventura!

C.A.

One thought on “Inca Trail to Machu Picchu – Part 4 of 4 “Finding the Lost City”

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