Most people hit the rack very early after the first few days and I was one of them.
Here's one last memento...a fellow cruiser took this video of my encounter with a baby sea lion. Moms leave their younguns for a day or two when they go out to fish and the little guys get bored.
|my best shot of Machu Picchu..yes it really did look like this.|
We had large parts of two days to explore M.P., Toni and I did the hike from M.P. up to "Sun Gate" along an the Inca Trail.
This is not a huge hike..maybe 3-4 miles tops. It climbs up to probably around 9,300'. I was glad I was in good shape..I found this hike interesting for the altitude issues but they did not slow me down. I used my speed to get up to the Sun Gate and have the place to myself until the other hikers caught up..it was magical.
|inca trail to sun gate|
The "Inca trail" is really a network of thousands of miles of trails built 500-600 years ago. Sun gate is at a pass where the trail comes up through a saddle and you get your first view of Machu Picchu...AND it's called Sun Gate because the dawn on the vernal equinox pops through this notch and shines down on Machu Picchu. There is a temple building in M.P. where the sun comes through a window and hits a stone obelisk carved out of a huge existing rock and this casts shadows that also mark the moment of spring.
I would really like to go back to this area of the Andes mountians and do some hiking someday. It's very beautiful and the Peruvians are a great and friendly people...with some wonderful foods (they domesticated the potato and have many many kinds you have never seen before..yum!)
|Toni and I at sun gate..machu picchu is just|
to the right of my left arm. The switchback road
to get to the site is just below that.
Anyway, if you get a chance to go to the Inca valley and Machu Picchu you will find it a place that is quite beautiful and special.
And you can get a lot of good high altitude tromping around in to boot!
Full album here