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The Inca Trial to Machupicchu
2000-08-09 20:00:00
The Inca Trial we chose was about 6km, and we climbed about 650 meters to 2700m. above sea level on narrow Inca paths to reach our goal, the lost Inca city Machupicchu.
See the whole picture
The Inca Trial started with the morning train from Cusco with departure at 7.30. The group we were together with, consisted of the three of us, Tom and Levien from Holland and our guide Edison posing in his gift, an Araenus T-Shirt. The train took 4 hours, and decended 1300 meters towards the rainforest. The view from the window was magnificient, and in the distant we could see the mountain Veronica, and we should travel behind her. At last we ended at Km104, which was our startingpoint for the Inca Trial.

We started by crossing the Rio Urubamba, and started our acent towards the lost cities of the Incas. We stopped at Chachabamba, where we had a banana while waiting for our porters. After this break, we really started our acent. The surrounding was like tropical rainforest, and it was warm. Odd had thought that 6Km was nothing, so he decided to carry a backpack of about 13Kg as an exercise. This proved to be a very wrong decision at this altitude when the acclimatization was not to good. It was exhausting, and he has never been so close to give up before, but managed.

The view from the Inca Trial was beautiful, and as we struggled our way upwards, the Inca city Choquesuysuy appeared far down by the river. After a while more we could see the city Winaywayna which we would camp nearby. We also passed a beautiful waterfall, where we filled up our waterbottles. Well, Inca Odd didn't because he hadn't brought one.

As we came to Winaywayna, we looked back at some part of the Inca Trail which we had walked. The lost city Winyawayna was just beautiful, and Edison our guide said they assumed it had lived about two hundred people here. There where Inca Terasses all around, used for growing their crops. The day ended with basecamp some hundred meteres above Winyawayna, and the cook made us a nice meal..

The night we spendt in an tent, and we was all reminded about the reason why we hadn't done this for the last ten years. We all slept very bad, and it was raining all night long. The plan was to get up at 4.30 to see the sunrise at Machupicchu, but unfortunately it was very cloudy, so we stayed in the tent until 5.30. After a quick breakfast, we headed towards Intipunku the Sun Gate and outsight for Machupicchu.

After arriving at Intipunku, it was very clody, and we waited some time to be able to get a glimpse of the lost city Machupicchu. After this we started our decent to the city, and the view was fantastic in every direction. So, finally we where able to see the city in all its glory. Odd was starting to feel a little bit better too, and the peak you see behind was encountered by Lars and him later the same day.

After the descent we entered The City, and to tell the truth it was sorth the journey to Peru alone. The most important building in The City was the Sun Temple, and if you look carefully at the picture, you can see the marvelous stone work. The more important a building was, the better the stone work was. The stones where fitted so nicely to eachother and to the ground, that it looked like teeth in a jaw. Inside the Sun Temple you had a big natural alter where they used to sacrifice Lamas and other animals. You can also see two windows, and they are put precisely to mark the times when the sun turns. They also had a big square where the one thousand inhabitants gathered together to recieve information or to have fun.

This journey to Machupicchu started out as a joke between Lars and Odd. The joke was to have a toast on the city wall.

The peak behind Machupicchu, Huaynapicchu was to tempting for Lars and Odd, so they decided to climb the stairs to the top. It's an acent of 300 meters, almost straight up. It was an amazing view, and as we came nearer to the top we could see the river Urubamba far below. When we reached the peak, the view of Machupicchu was just beyond words.

After climbing down again, we had something to drink in the restaurant located just outside The City, and then took the bus down to the city Aguas Calientes. A very boring city, and with nothing interesting at all.

Some facts: Machupicchu is both the best known and the least known of the Inca ruins. It is not mentioned in any of the chronicles of the Spanish conquistadors, and archaeologists today can only speculate on it's function. Although Machupicchu was known to a handful of Quechua peasants who farmed the area, the outside world was unaware of its existence until the American historian Hiram Bingham stumbled upon it almost by accident on July 24, 1911. Binghams search was for the lost city of Vilcabamba, the last stronghold of the Incas, and he thought he had found it at Machupicchu. We now know, that the remote ruins of Espiritu Pampa, much deeper in the jungle, are the remains of Vilcabamba. Machupicchu remains a mysterious site, never revealed to the conquering Spaniards and virtually forgotten until the early part of this century. Hmmm
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