Machu Picchu was not at the start of our Peruvian Mountain journey, but it was the most profound and what the trip was centred around, so let’s start here. Oh boy I took so many photos. Be warned.
I’m not going to get into the logistics of the trip since I mostly covered that in the previous post.
Since visiting Machu Picchu I’ve been trying to think of a profound moment I had there, something that grounded me in the place. When I visit places that are a next level of special I like to have a sort of touchstone there so I can continue to visit in my memories. Instead of a magical memory all I can think of is this French woman with her child braving Machu Picchu’s treacherous steps and climbs in 3” heels. Damn my brain for sticking on this point, but how incredible and dedicated this woman is to her look. A complete contrast from all the adventure tourists in complete hiking uniforms.
Of course this isn’t the only moment that sticks in my mind, but definitely the most ridiculous. The pieces of Machu Picchu that have clung to me and are a part of me now is the feeling of my rain soaked shirt, uncertain steps on slippery stones, the clouds moving through the mountains, the sun coming out to warm us and dry us from the rain, a llama climbing ancient steps, a fellow tourist’s bright red umbrella contrasting with the freshly rained on grass, our tour guide’s surprising sense of humour, a little girl running circles around her family, and a viscacha (mountain rabbit) leaping along the side of the mountain and ruins without a care.
I remember thinking that it was bigger than I imagined and thinking about all the people who have visited this place and all the people in the future who will visit. I remember thinking about how lucky it was that we got to experience the rain, the clouds, and the sunshine all in one afternoon. I remember being worried that none of my photos would turn out because of the rain on my lens and that it didn’t really matter because much better photographers than myself have photographed this place.
The adventure was worth all the planning, the expenses, and the uncomfortably high altitude. I feel honoured to have been able to visit this place.