A childhood dream…
We could go through various facts and historical details about one distant and ancient place deeply hidden in the mountains that stand high on a continent that seems otherworldly. This kind of info could be quite interesting to some of our readers.
However, we find that internet is “overloaded” with this kind of info – that usually seem a bit soulless. Nowadays the majority of our worlds most incredible places are frequently described through terms such as “awesome, a must, great, wonderful etc” which diminish the rich impressions of many destination in the same manner in which the emoticons diminish human emotion – which greatly differs from my concept of communication via this platform.
That’s why we decided to tell you the tail about Machu Picchu from a different point of view – the one that may be described as a childhood dream that had emotionally carried this place for a very long time..a dream that had finally turned into reality.
During our landing to Cusco we immediately noticed the specific and unusual terrain of this part of Peru.
Spike-like mountain peaks were surrounded by thick layers of clouds that left a river like impression as they flowed through many different and impressive green valleys announcing some remote villages here and there. Even though we were to close to Machu Picchu to be able to think about anything else, the town of Cusco had left a very good and unexpected impression and it deserves a separate article which will be published in one of the days to come.
Even though we promised that we won’t provide you with boring and soulless info and facts, we have to mention just how exactly have we reached Machu Picchu, because, unfortunately, we haven’t went there via magic cloud that was summoned by a local shaman- which would be great, but probably incredibly expensive due to ridiculously high local ticket fares.
We have reached our destination combining one of the local bus companies and the train.
Departing with a bus from Cusco, we have reached a small town called Ollantaytambo – from which it’s impossible to reach Machu Picchu, other than with a local train, because no road was ever made.
The road was never made primarily thanks to many demonstrations and protests organized by the local people as well as some foreigners that have managed to protect Machu Picchu from complete “tourist” destruction which was very close.
The thing that we have absolutely loved about this train is that it has “panoramic” vans thanks to which it’s possible to enjoy the mesmerizing scenery of almost untouched nature full with many endemic species of animals and plants.
Why do they even make the closed roof versions…?
Of course, we found out that there was a small town in the valley below Machu Picchu, called Aguas Calientes that had seemed like a battle front separating the local and authentic natural beauty against hard core tourism.
There is a special domain, just before the official starting point of ascend to Machu Picchu, which may quite accurately be described through the title of a movie produced by a infamous street artist, Benksy, called “Exit through the gift shop”. In this case, however, the title would require a small change meaning that “exit” should be switched with “enter”.
“Enter through the gift shop”
After we made our way through the thick layer of souvenirs and cheap representations of that which waited beyond, we have finally started the ascend to a place where dreams were being transferred into reality.
Even though we were located above 2500 meteres above sea level the landscape is overflowing with vegetation. The mountains look like enormous cones that were sculpted by the forgotten gods many eons ago…whose blood still flows in a form of mighty river, Urubamba, that clearly and monumentally echoes as it cuts and separates the ancient Peruvian land.
The mighty Urubamba !
Would you dare to do rafting here ?!
Every step closer, or should we say higher, strengthens the growing awe.
The number of tourists is huge, yes, but it only leaves an impression of human transience surrounded by mountains and nature that tell the tale of times so ancient that they seem almost infinitely distant from the concept of mankind.
Completely enchanted by the scenery that had surrounded we slowly continue our ascend. Each step becomes more steady, each breath deeper. Suddenly, our attention becomes fixed on a peak which looked like a huge wave that had arose above a small plateau with strange stone elements – the scenery had quickly pierced us with an arrow like impression that had sent a straight message “There it is!”
There it is !
The rainy season in Peru includes the month of March as well. Even though our ascend was followed by a light rain, after we have finally made it to the top, the clouds that had surrounded the “wave like” mountain of Machu Picchu started to clear. It seemed as if someone had carved a hole in the clouds that had covered the old Inca town that looked like it was standing in its own separate universe…the only thing missing was the divine song of the ancient Inca god, Viracocha, coming from the skies.
Oh, mighty Viracocha, sing us The Song of Eternity !
We were almost certain that Machu Picchu had become so touristy that it would be impossible to get a proper impression. Oh, but we were so wrong…the scenery is so authentic and striking that the large tourist crowd seems like a transparent layer floating above the impressive archeological remains.
Imagine living here…
We remember thinking “Man, not that long ago (some 500 years ago), someone had actually lived here..” As we made our way through the halls of times long forgotten and touched the stones that echoed their ancient tale, we couldn’t help but think about the way of life that the people who lived here used to have…
The people who inhaled all that fresh and unpolluted mountain air, who were constantly surrounded by the scenery so beautiful that it constantly triggers the feeling of the divine, who looked at stars like we look at our chandeliers…
From our “modern” and “advanced” life point of view, which had become almost completely meaningless and destructive, we thought to ourselves “How did the inhabitants of Machu Picchu feel ?”
Every next step takes you further into the past.
We were particularly impressed by the way in which the Inca had constructed their houses and buildings. Huge rocks were shaped into puzzle forms which were perfectly assembled and combined under certain angles thus preventing the earthquake damage. Not a single wall was the same, not a single stone puzzle repeated…the unique aqueduct (water supply system) was absolutely flawless.
Looks like building this was loads of fun !
The small windows in reconstructed houses look like paintings which portray the local mountain landscape which leaves any sensible human being completely speechless.
We sat on a wall that offered one of the best views of the entire town and enjoyed the unforgettable scenery which filled us with energy that had, at the very essence of our being, initiated one deep and big “Thank you”.
It turned out that our gratitude was felt by the local and adorable llama which had slowly approached. Unlike us, they are the locals, already quite full of Machu Picchu visual impressions and rather prefer a snack or two. We offer them some peanuts and cashew nuts, they gladly accept.
“Sir, hand over dat peanut..”
We feel their soft wool under our fingers, the one that the local women had been using for centuries to make wonderful and unique clothing…All that above a town straight out of our childhood dreams.
We thought you ourselves “it doesn’t get much better then this.”
Does it ?
“Honey, where did the llama go ?”
Every step down the ancient stairs paves lifetime memories. Each sight carves visually emotional print on our souls.
We’ve never felt such strong gratitude towards the possibility to travel.
Our tour lasts for about two hours but we would gladly spend, at least, two days here.
At one point, one old concept emerges from the chamber of our distant thoughts. It’s a vision of a certain type of Eco Hotel which would also be located in some incredible natural spot. A place where people could escape and reboot from the intense pressure of our modern way of living. A place where they could redeem their natural balance…where they could breathe the purest air, eat proper and healthy food and absorb all those strong and unique impressions found only in our Mother Nature.
A piece that finally feel in it’s long awaited place deep within our souls 🙂
It felt as if our “childhood dream” had lasted less than a heartbeat…but, at same time, we knew that this experience will stay deeply within us for all eternity.
As we bring back the moments from the one and only, Machu Picchu, it’s quite hard to successfully transform all those unbelievable impressions into simple words…words which may help you to join us on a ancient wall that separates the world of dreams from reality.
The only advice I can give you is to travel more and everywhere. Try to displace yourself from the limited intelectual, emotional, and physical reality that only one type of environment has to offer. Doing so will help you realize that this entire planet is our true home and that every next destination is a small piece that makes the huge puzzle of your being and essence more complete. The displacement takes courage and, at some times, it may be risky and unpleasant…but when a puzzle pice, such as Machu Picchu, finally falls in it’s long awaited place – you will realize that it was well worth it.
So what is your next puzzle piece 🙂 ?
All presented content (photography, text, etc.) is my original work.
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