A few minutes to five the next morning, we queued up at the Machu Picchu area entrance point.
It was still very much dark outside, but not in the slightest bit cold. After the area opened the queue started being processed. Within a few minutes it was our turn to show our passports and tickets, and make it appear as if there was no funny-business going on. There wasn’t, and we were allowed to pass. A small wooden sign pointed the way, and up we climbed. We climbed stairs, and a shitton of ’em. Man, I hate stairs. Especially ancient, Inca-built stairs. How were steps of half a meter high ever convenient?
That being said, it was an absolutely amazing experience. You start walking up the stairs in the dark, which is quite an adventure on its own. As you make your way up though, the sky (read: the fog) gets continuously brighter and the nature around you really comes to life. Of course, because it’s hella hot and hella humid, you sweat buckets. And that’s the understatement of the century, right there. You really do sweat buckets. Still, totally worth it.
Where the stairs trail was relatively calm, the entrance to the ruins themselves were swarmed with tourist. After a short break to catch our breaths and revitalize our bodies with water and food, we entered. Machu Picchu, the thing in Peru you need to see, and it was foggy as fuck. Doesn’t mean it wasn’t pretty, oh no, it actually added to the whole “old ruined ghost town” vibe. And luckily later that day it cleared up so I got to shoot this picture. Might as well have pulled it off Google Images, damnit.
I must say though, the ruined city itself was a bit smaller than I had initially expected. No idea why, guess it was always presented to me as this super duper huge thing. Don’t get me wrong here, it is really big (especially if you factor in all the structures outside of the “main area”), but it’s more like a really small town than a city, you know?
We managed to fill the larger part of our day there with taking it all in. Got hella sunburnt, of course, but at that point in the trip I didn’t even care for that anymore. We took the bus back down the mountain (because the morning had made us hate stairs), and then took the train back to Cusco later that night.
Next stop: Cusco airport!