Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Peru.

Huancayo, Peru: August 2010 – Macchu Picchu

Posted in Peru on November 25, 2010

We boarded Inka Rail, en route to Aguas Caliente at the base of Macchu Picchu. The train followed along the Urubamba river through the Sacred Valley of the Inkas and with windows all around, we had a spectacular view of the Valley. We watched as the mountains went from dry, and brown with tall eucalyptus trees, to lush and green, and almost jungle. The mountains here are somewhat different then at home. Our mountains have a much larger base to them, these ones here shoot straight up. We arrived in Aguas Caliente around 5, grabbed our luggage and walked through endless markets up steep and narrow cobblestone streets to our hotel. Our hotel here was called, " Plaza Andina". We went to grab a bite and then call it a night because we had to get up at 3:30 to get in line for the bus to Macchu Picchu.

Karin and I (and everyone else) had requested a wake up call for the next morning. We had also attempted to set the alarm clock... Our wake up was to be at 330. The alarm never went off, and the phone never rang. We woke up to the sound of a rooster crowing. I guess that was our wake up call! We packed our bags and walked down to the bus stop. There was already people in line and more on their way. The bus ride was quite an amazing climb up a switchback up to the high Andes. when we got to the check point, we got out and walked. up a few flights of stairs.. but that was nothing. The most beautiful and overwhelming feeling I have ever had happened when we reached the top of our climb. I have waited and waited, and come all this way. And there it was the ancient Inka city of Macchu Picchu. All I wanted to do was cry. About 20 minutes had passed before I even took a picture. I just sat and stared in awe.

Soon enough, Pursy gathered us up for our history lesson. He is such a thourogh and informative guide. We learned many things about Macchu Picchu. one thing being that the city itself is not named Macchu Picchu, but that is the name of the mountain to the north. The City's name in still unknown but there are some thoughts on what it might be however. The man who discovered it in 1911 was told buy a local farmer that their might be some ruins up there (pointed) on Macchu Picchu. It wasn't, but was in the middle of three mountains. But he decided its name was Macchu Picchu. The man was an American by the name of Hiram Bingham. He found many artifacts, such as pottery, textiles, tools, etc. and He brought them all back to the united states with him and still today they remain in Yale Universtity. Which is tragic for Peru. Their history should be preserved in their own country not the united states.... :( More and more things we learned... the Inkas had an irrigation system running through the entire city, trenches carved out of the stone running down each street and into beautiful fountains. And then, while we were in one of the houses and pursy was telling us what each room was for he showed us a small room with a small hole in the floor... it was a bathroom! There was a completely different pluming system running through the city for sewage. How fantastic is this place!!

Next we climbed up Waynapicchu to get a fabulous view of Macchu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. Waynapicchu is the tall tall mountain in the background of Macchu Picchu when you see pictures... the Inka trail goes all the way to the top. It was the most difficult hike I have ever done. Mind you I dont do much hiking.... But it switch backed all the way up one side. Inka stonework made stairs all the way up... it was so rewarding getting to the top!

Amber Lee
DWC Participant

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