15 May 2008

Machu Picchu, Peru

We travelled to the village of Aguas Calientes which is at the base of Machu Picchu via train. The train ride was lovely because not only were we in the very first seats and had a birds eye view of the scenery but we were able to see the distinct difference from the mountain life to the jungle.

After an hour and a half train ride we were at the base of Machu Picchu - the "Lost City of the Incas". After a short bus ride we were there and yes... it lived up to its expectation. Totally mind blowing! Nick was even amazed and taken back by the beauty of the site.

Machu Picchu is 2,000 feet above sea level and I felt like we were in the clouds. Machu Picchu was unknown to the Spaniards and when it was rediscovered in 1911 it was covered in jungle. Today the reason for its existence remains under debate.

After spending a couple of hours wandering the site I took some time to sit in the energy of the place. While Nick and our guide, Hernan wandered around the area, I sat and spent some time meditating. It was pretty amazing because as soon as I shut my eyes the traffic stopped coming past me. I actually sat in a little nook on the way up to the sun dial and I could look over the whole site. Once I finished my meditation, the traffic started again. It felt like the Universe conspired so that I could have my time within the energy of Machu Picchu.

After another hour or so at the site we went back to the village and checked into our hotel. We were pretty lucky because just after checking in it rained and didn't stop for the next 2 days while we were there.

Our hotel was built on an old Inca site and was so beautiful. The grounds were lush and they had over 200 types of Orchids as well as a conservation project for the Spectacle Bear, South America's only bear. It is gentle giant living in the jungle of Peru and very shy around humans. The hotel had 2 rescue bears that they hoped they could reintroduce into the wild. They feel that they can achieve this with one of the bears but the other has been bullied too much by other bears in a local zoo that it may not be able to defend itself in the wild.

We spent the next 2 days wandering the village, taking nature walks and relaxing after our climb of Machu Picchu. On the last day we walked straight into a local ceremony with dancers, music and people carrying statues.

To see more of our photos from Machu Picchu and the nearby village, please visit our Machu Picchu photo album and Aguas Calientes photo album.

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