- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.ZOSg03mN.dpuf Katie Nugent Photography: Day Four-- Machu Picchu at last


Day Four-- Machu Picchu at last

3:30am. It's much the same as 4am, just earlier. But when a giant chocolate cake is presented at the breakfast table, well it ain't so bad now is it. A celebratory cake to give us props for making it to this day; the day we thought of while climbing up, while scrambling down, while thanking god for the occasional flat bit to give our legs a rest. This was it. The day we'd see Machu Picchu with our own eyes. A view not painted with someone else's words or memories, but with our very own eyeballs displaying the site in human definition.

By 4am we'd said good bye to our gracious porters, the little red army who pounded up the mountainside with 50 lbs a piece on their backs, speeding past our sorry asses to set up and prep food, tents, water stations. Bone shattering work so we, the trekkers, could be comfortable. Made me feel like a huge jackass sometimes, but mostly just astonished at their willpower and fierceness. I hope one day I'll grow up to be like those porters, strong and positive even when faced with a grueling hike straight up.

Finally sometime after 5am the guard unlocked the gates which kept us corralled in the campsite with all the other trekking herds. We wound our way down to the balmy flora and fauna of a temperate rainforest. No longer a jagged rocky path clinging to a mountainside, instead we walked on the actual stones set from Inca times, surrounded by lush greenery and bamboo shoots.

The last big hurdle to overcome was a set of decrepit stone stairs, most definitely not up to code. (Being the wife of a carpenter I am lectured at length on the construction codes of this and that, and I always asked myself why. I always thought I was zoning out until the moment I saw those stairs and thought "Well those aren't to code are they?)

Through the Sun Gate our eyes beheld one of the 7 wonders of the world

The said stairs were more like launching pads and if you were not kindly endowed with long legs you had to propel yourself forward and up with the help of your trusty walking pole, up and up for 50 meters of sweatiness. But then oh but then, when you crested and walked through the Sun gate there on the horizon was the vision you'd been waiting for.
Worth every step

And apparently luck was on our side. Most people get to the top to discover nothing but fog over yonder but what we saw was the sun breaking onto the Machu Picchu site. Hallelujah.

And the path continues to weave and wind but it didn't matter, we knew we'd made it. Nothing prepared us for the magnitude of the site. It's enormous. Utterly spectacular, most definitely welcome on the 7 wonders of the world list, if my opinion counts for anything.

"the Village" where the people are thought to have lived

But that wasn't what had me all welled up inside. The fact that the Mom had made it to the place she had marked down on her list of top ten places to see in the world, well you would be a little blubbery inside to, now wouldn't you? Exhaustion, perspiration, elation, time for a beer.

The Mom, conquering another step on her path

And that's what we did. After sitting in silence (amazing I know) taking in the site and sounds surrounding us we got off our dirt soaked bottoms and made our way into town for a well deserved round of iced cold beers.

The final destination

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