I have been in Peru now for over three years, and what a great three years it has been! I have seen and done much, met wonderful people, travelled quite a bit, hiked a lot… AND… for the first time in about 7 years an old friend has come to visit for an extended period of time. I’m talk about Mr. Jake Murray : )
Jake and I went to university together, played rugby together, worked at the Bonnaroo Music Festival together, taught ESL in South Korea together, played music together, travelled around Asia together, and loads more that our faded (cloudy?) memories are slowly remembering. It’s been great reconnecting, and what better way to kick off his visit and my vacations that a trip to Macchu Picchu!
This was my 5th visit to Machu Picchu, and I must say that each experience there has been amazing and unique… and while at this stage I would probably prefer to visit new world wonders I could easily see myself going back to Machu Picchu a few more times before leaving Peru.
The day, as expected, provided us with varied weather conditions. To begin, it was so foggy that we almost could not see Machu Picchu at all. For the inexperienced this can be quite frustrating as one does not know if the fog will clear, but for me it was a mystical view of the site and one which I enjoyed greatly. As our tour progressed, the fog began to clear and we had a beautiful morning. Our guide was punctual and professional, with a quirk of being very anti-aliens and anti-mummies. I found his insistency in this quite funny.
After our tour we began our hike to the top of Wayna Picchu, the pointy mountain that you see in the background of all of the classic Machu Picchu photos. “Wayna Picchu” is Quechua for “Young Mountain” whereas “Machu Picchu” is Quechua for “Old Mountain”.
The hike is pretty vertical, and the stairs are occasionally pretty narrow and uneven. It was not a difficult in my opinion, but you do need to be careful going up and especially on the way down when it can also be wet from the rain. In our case, the weather was perfect! I felt very fortunate because the first time I hike Wayna Picchu about 2.5 years ago the weather was terrible and the clouds rolled in just as I got to the top, meaning I was stuck in a marshmallow and could not see anything at all. This time, I got spectacular views of the area and of Machu Picchu. Very cool!
After the hike it did start raining, and after exploring a bit we decided that it was time to head back down into town. We celebrated with some delicious food, a little Cusqueña beer, a shower, a massage, and then back to Cusco. It was a wonderful weekend made all the better by having my good friend with me. Thanks for coming to visit, Jake!!!