I can't get creative with the title. I just put it in ALL CAPS.That should do justice. There are no words for all the descriptions and emotions that ran through me when I was in Machu Picchu. Giving a title to this entry was a difficult task. Choosing the photos, another story. So much decision-making involved.
My day started early. The alarm went off at 3:50AM. I didn't play snoozefest with my alarm clock. Excited for the day head, I got up and prepared for the day ahead. The water was sooo cold, it felt like brushing my teeth in melted ice. It woke me up. The hostel's breakfast started at 4:00AM. They knew that the travelers were keen to start their day early. I was.
Check out was at 11AM and I didn't want to rush back to the city without getting my fill of MP. So I checked out and left my luggage at the hostel. It was a very short walk from the hostel to the bus station.
I planned to be at the bus station at 5:00AM the latest. Apparently, that was everyone's plan. There's considerably long line when I got there. Buses started to leave for MP at 5:30 AM. I'm glad I already bought the tickets the day before.
Catching the 5:30 bus is a perfect idea, as Machu Picchu opens at 6:00am. You can head to the toilets just before entering the site. Toilet fee: 1 sole.
I looked around for guides. Guides are good company when you are travelling alone. My guide was Able or Abel. Tripadvisor said there were a lot of guides to choose from in the entrance, but I just found Able and a couple of others who were already courting possible customers. He offered me 150 soles for around two hours worth of touring. I didn't bother to haggle. He had a heavy accent but there wasn't a lot of guides around and I was excited to get started.
I already have a print-out of my ticket. I just showed that at the gate.
|Entrance. The crowds do disappear at some point.|
The climb up to the first viewing point was steep, but manageable. I stopped twice to catch my breath. Wag na pairalin ang pride at huminto kapag kelangan.
This view greeted me. Waking up early was so worth it.
|Machu Picchu - once the home of an ancient civilization|
Now do you have a word for that?
Not a lot of crowds yet. I was able to get a frame for myself. Abel told me where to pose.
|My current profile photo.|
So Abel bombarded me with historical facts.I will not bombard you with all the historical facts and stories behind this. I will not pretend that I remember all of that. But I can remember that the stories were very interesting. It was an awesome feeling being in the midst of the remnants of a great civilization.
That rock I was sitting on may look deserted but there was a line to get there. This is another stop for a standard MP shot. There were people attempting to do a jumpshot from here but the guides cautioned them not to do it. It was scary.
The tour groups start arriving at around 10am. Be warned. Most of the standard photo spots are crowded by then but if you climb higher and higher, you can find your own view that can still capture the complex. I think I had 100+ photos of that overhead view of the complex from different angles. At some point, you'll just have to drop the camera - it will never capture the magnificence of the place anyway.
What to bring in Machu Picchu:
Reaching Machu Picchu takes a considerable amount of planning time. Included in that trip planning is the outfit planning. After all, I didn't travel half-way across the world to have lousy photos.
Things I brought:
- My handy purple beret (which has been with me since 2012)
- A backpack where I put all my stuff: passport, tickets, scarf, light snacks, water (they did not confiscate the food at the entrance), sunblock
How I dressed:
- Upper body: Camisole bra, a layer of long-sleeve Heattech (from Uniqlo), a layer of knit drape-blouse, windbreaker
- Lowe body: undies, two layers of light tight leggings, Airism jogging pants (from Uniqlo), a layer of knee socks, my handy Merrell shoes since 2011.
Layering is they here. You need something to keep you warm during the dawn (remember, I got up so early to catch the bus) but you'll need to be able to easily peel off those layers once the sun rises upon Machu Picchu.
|Sun saluting in MP|
|Another view of the complex|
|Abel suggested I do my standard pose here|
The sun started to rise. There is no sunrise in MP as the mountain ranges covers the rise of the sun. But the ancient civilization had some sort of sundial and time-telling device in these ruins that make use of the sun.
|We were already going down the complex|
|That is some time-telling and season-telling device.|
|With the terraces, Machu Picchu version|
The complex was not entirely done, as evidenced by these rocks.
|There was a helicopter that landed in MP sometime when it was rediscovered.|
As the sun rises, the shadows fill the grounds. I liked the grounds with a bit of sun and no shadows. Wake up early for that.
|View of windows|
|That "hut" over there is the one near the entrance. We were at the other side at this point.|
|I peeled off my windbreaker. 'Twas getting hot.|
|Abel, my guide, leading the way.|
|Well here is the standard shoe shot|
|And then in color accent setting - green|
I understand why. A lone trekker can fall down there....
The trek was peaceful. Or boring, should I say. Pretty easy. But there's always the risk of falling of course. The
|And there's the Inca bride.|
The bridge was neat, but you can skip it. Not a lot of wow factor.
I logged-out and rested for a while. I saw this on my way back to the MP complex.
|I travelled across the world to see Machu Picchu but this llama was blocking my view. ^__________^|
|Masuwerte tong may pic na to.|
|Well hello there|
|I took off the windbreaker and the knitted drape-blouse.|
I was done by past 11AM. I started at 6:00AM and I was tired and need of some rest as well. I would also like a proper bath. The Filipino in me was in need of that daily bath. And I wanted some decent food as well.
Machu Picchu was well worth the travel. Do it.