There is a race every year to see who can reach Machu Picchu first. The locals dont care any food just coca leaves. They do the 40km in 3hr 45 mins. We did close to 25 hours to do it.
Another interesting fact. Our porters who are mostly locals from the Andes, carry up to 28kilos. Many years ago there were porters carrying more than 35 kilos, but due to accidents they limited them to 28ks. The tallest one in our group of porters was 5 foot 6 inches. When we would take 7 hours walking, they would do it in 2 hours, running with 28kilos on there back.
4:30am start, breakfast at 5:00 and on a bus at 5:40. Macchu Pichu was a holy city, believed to house scholars and religious people. It is actually low, it is at 2400m.
It was suppose to have taken 100 years to build it, and it is still uncomplete. It is broken into 2 parts, the agricultural sectins where they have many terraces, and the urban section where people lived and worshipped.
There were many temples – the most important being the Sun temple which had windows that shone light thru on the winter and summer solaces. Underneath is the water temple and below that the Pachamama temple (earth temple). Further down was the Condor temple where dead bodies were found on a natural stone that appeared to be like wings. The bodies were found on top of the wings. They believed that they were important people and that this signified that the condor was taking them ot the other world.
Close to the Sun dial was the rainbow temple and the 3 windows temple – reincarnation, pachamama (earth) and the underworld. Finally was the sun dial which told the month of the year. Macchu Picchu is at 2400m and its 4 corners point like a compass. They are not sure why it was abandoned by the Incas, one theory is that they believed that the Spanish were coming so they abandoned it. However the Spanish never made it there.
They have a quarry in the middle that they use to get the stones. On all the temples the rocks are fitted together like they have been done by machine.
The clouds covered it until about 8:00 and then they started to lift. At 10:00am it was all clear. The "train-ees" arrived about this time. Straight off the train from Cuzco – cheaters.
Kiriana was one of the adventurous one that climbed Machu Pichu mountain at the back of the site (another 300m).
They have actually found another site that is bigger than Machu Picchu close by but they are still escavating and dont expect to open it for several more year.
We eventualy got the train and bus back to Cuzco at 17:00 and were back in the hostels at 20:00 for a warmest shower. Then at the Fallen Angel restaurant for Caiparinha, Long Island tea and Margaritas. This place had bath tubs for tables with glass ontop and gold fish swimming around inside. Mama Africa was next on the list and we finally got to bed about 3:30-4:30am. A big night…