MACHU PICCHU Part 1

Machu Picchu, Peru

MACHU PICCHU Part 1

Seeing the ruins of Machu Picchu in real life is something I haven’t figured out how to accurately describe in words quite yet. Luckily, the journey getting there is an experience all on its own.

The morning this photo was taken we had woken up at 4am to catch the train that ran from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes, the town nestled at the base of Machu Picchu. We rode in complete darkness, occasionally catching glimpses of the rushing river that twisted its way through the jungle. By the time we arrived, the sun still hadn’t risen and the peaks of the lush mountains were covered in thick rainclouds, not letting us see their magnificence quite yet. Although there’s a bus that you can pay $20 to take you right to the gates of Machu Picchu, I always believe that if you have the opportunity to experience something fully, you should. Buying the biggest rain ponchos we could find in town, and after much searching, we found the poorly marked trailhead and began the most difficult hike I’ve ever done.

The hike consisted of huge stone steps that wound their way up the entire mountain, and as the elevation was almost 8000 feet, we found ourselves consistently out of breath. I won’t lie and say that there weren’t times I regretted not taking the bus; I remember taking breaks, completely drenched from the rain, looking up only to see an endless staircase in front me. There were also moments, however, much more memorable moments, when we emerged out of the jungle and were gifted with a view as jaw-dropping as this one. The mountains were painted brilliant blue and green in the early morning light and the clouds were still clinging to their rocky peaks. Pattering against the stone trail, the soft rain was the only noise that broke the stillness of the scene. It didn’t matter to me in that moment how much further we had to go; I’d never felt more grateful to exist in my life.