Elvis gave us a comprehensive tour of the site, taking three hours to talk about the history, the supposition of why it was there, the architecture, the Incan belief system and the rampant looting that took place before and after the site's discovery. While Hiram Bingham introduced Machu Picchu to the world, many others had been there before, taking what they wished and keeping it all on the down low. Yale University currently is hording 90% of what Bingham handed over. They graciously (and I use the phrase loosely) returned 10% for the 100th anniversary of Bingham's discovery. (Fie and shame!)
|Sun creeps across the site.|
|Outside of Sun Temple|
|Sun alter & temple from other side.|
There were actually a couple of llamas grazing on the terraces and the place filled up pretty quickly with tourists, like ourselves. I like to try and imagine that I'm stepping back in time, but the illusion is pretty well killed by Tilley Endurable hats, selfie-sticks and mini skirts...I've learned to cope, I wasn't exactly draped in Incan textiles, either.
|This was actually the much larger of the openings|
|Derek waiting in the traffic jam to summit.|
|Top o' the world, Ma!|
|Yup, actually that steep|
One corner more and there was the Moon Temple. We would have likely missed the cave, except for an Argentinian couple that pointed out the path to us. As we were getting ready to go check it out, the co-worker showed up to hurry us along. They closed the access to Huayna Picchu earlier than the main gates.
We checked out the Grand Cave and then headed down the path towards the checkout point. Thankfully we didn't have to go back the way we came or we would have been a couple more hours.
Oh, remember the test from the previous post??? Here's our vantage point from the previous day, taken from the back side of Machu Picchu...we walked the majority of that distance!
If I'd been smarter I would have taken a long shot, to show how far away we actually were, but you can probably get the idea from the photos on the previous blog. Next installment will be a special "food" edition...samples of what we ate on the trek and some of the food we gorged on in Lima.
|For a distance reference!|