January 22, 2019

Machu Picchu

It rained hard all night long, and it was still very cloudy when we got up for breakfast. But, by the time Fernando picked us up to go to the bus, the sun was shining and it looked like we were going to have great weather for our visit.

After seeing Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate I wasn’t sure what was left. Plenty, as it turns out. It was just amazing to walk with our guide through this huge complex and marvel at the design and engineering. For everything you see above ground there is also underground engineering work to create the drainage system that has kept Machu Picchu stable all of these years.

One of the biggest threats to Machu Picchu is the number of humans that visit each year. It wasn’t designed to handle that kind of traffic!

Machu Picchu was never finished, due to the Spanish invasion, but nevertheless many people lived there over the five generations it took to get it to what we see. During that time there was even much rebuilding as priests died and new priests took their place and wanted to change or move the various temples.

You can see several different levels of workmanship. From the super high quality at some of the lower layers and in the places where the important people lived to the lesser quality near the top as they rushed to finish, or simply didn’t care to do the same quality of workmanship for the new Spanish conquerors.

After a morning of wandering around, we had a delicious lunch at the restaurant right in the national park. Then headed down to Agua Caliente where it started to pour rain again. We hung out in the market for a while then headed to the hotel, where we met up with Bob and Bonni and sat by the fire until it was time to board our train to take us back to Cusco.