Most people who visit Machu Picchu stay in the little tourist town of Cusco, so we followed suit. Although touristy, it's a really cute town with cobblestone streets, many public plazas and markets, abundant restaurants, and a view of the mountains in the distance. However, we were still not very close to Machu Picchu.
There is really only one way to get there, so of course they can make it difficult and somewhat of a pain to finally reach the site. But with no other options, we got up before dawn, took the bus, then a train, then another bus and, 5 hours later, arrived at the the entrance! And it was raining (a risk we knew would exist, coming during the less busy rainy season). But after waiting it out for a bit, it cleared up and the sun came out, so we seized the opportunity. After a short hike up a hill, we reached the postcard picture-perfect spot. The sky was clear and the sun was shinning: an answer to our prayers. We snapped the classic pictures, then continued to explore the ruins. We walked among the ancient architecture, sat for a while on the hills and took it all in; breathing in the fresh mountain air and imagining what this place must have been like when the ancient Incas actually lived here and it wasn't just overrun with tourists. It is amazing to me that it was only discovered 100 years ago.
The rain started up again later in the afternoon, so that was our cue to start the 5 hour journey back to Cusco. While it was a pain to get to, I really cannot complain at all. It was totally worth the time and the hassle. Machu Picchu really does not dissapoint. It was breathtaking. I still don´t believe that my pictures are real--they look like postcards and I look like I'm photoshopped into the foreground! I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to experience this "Wonder of the World."
We returned back to Cusco after a long day, exhausted but ecstatic after our adventure. We enjoyed one more day relaxing and exploring Cusco together, before I had to say goodbye to Abby as she left for Trujillo to work with an organization there for the whole summer.
Now on to more adventures of my own!