Last year, I started my Machu Picchu post with what’s written below.
“I feel a huge challenge trying to describe through words and photos the magnitude of energy and massive beauty that this place holds. If Machu Piccu has been on your “list” or this page intrigues you whatsoever, please remember:
YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE THAT CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN… SO DO IT!
Before I begin sharing this priceless journey, if you haven’t read last years trek to Machu Picchu, you can do so at Machu Picchu link or The trek link. It has a more descriptive message of the actual route and facts that come with it. This year, it’s all about the friends and the adventure!
Living on the road has brought many new perspectives into my life as well as more than a few unexpected lessons that I plan on carrying forward. Lets be aware of how easy it is to live in “auto pilot” and go through day to day almost in a programmed sense, passing the garden without “smelling the roses” as they say. Ive grown to appreciate all situations in what they have to offer and am constantly reminding myself to be “in the moment”. Today…right now… This is my life.
With that said, I’m going to break up the Machu Picchu adventure into a few different posts, as the entire journey was special start to finish.
Hayden and I met as kids trying to balance homework and a social life while growing up in the small town of Folsom, California. Now, 17 years later, I get to pick up my dear friend from the Cusco airport as we have plans to hike Machu Picchu with Ann and Colin!
Let’s begin with the morning departure from our Hostel in Cusco. The four of us had reserved the bus to pick us up at 7:45 for the 5 hour ride to the base of our walk towards Aguascalientes. 9:00 rolls around and instead of a bus, we got a woman with her child that said “follow me”…. And so it began.
We made a few turns to find a decent van stocked with two drivers, empty seats and a woman urging us to get in quickly, “Vamanos!”.
All smiles as we’re finally on the road towards one of the seven wonders of the world.
The first pit stop is in the open country side of Ollantaytambo for a leg stretch, optional snack and a handstand of course!
Even though this bathroom brought a tiny challenge of it’s own, it’s luxury compared to last year!
Back into the van, I capture us still smiling (for now) as we have new sights along the way.
More than just mountains and clouds, you’ll see several animals and even cyclist who are making me feel slightly guilty of my sore bum.
As we continue the climb up in elevation, you can begin to see the clouds roll in and take over the passage. This is almost a relief due to the unprotected cliff side that so gratiously accompanied the one way road. Each time another vehicle would approach head on, one of us would have to hug the mountain side in order for the other to safely pass. Not fun.
See that tiny little bridge behind us with no guard rail? What you don’t see is that it’s barely suspended above thousands of feet of pure straight cliff side. What you don’t hear is us all gasping for air when the back tire didn’t catch on the tracks… Stomach, please return to your appropriate location and heart rate, it’s necessary for you to regulate again for the future of my journey.
Arriving to Hydro Electronica means we get to stop for a quick break before we start our way by foot towards Machu Picchu. A toast, a few fun pics and the adventure continues!
Find the tracks, find a four legged friend and keep on trekking!
Three attempts to get us all in one photo… Fail.
Awesomely awkward shot of all of us… Success!
Finishing up the first hour brings more smiles and more more train tracks.
From a distance we could here the tracks in use as the train blared it’s horn. We accepted this as a challenge to not only race the speeding beast, but snag a few cool photos too!
Due to our relaxed pace, the walk took a bit longer than the average “trek”, but we were definitely ok with that. Considering the amazing conversation, great photo oportunities and the memories that came with it, I wouldn’t have changed a thing!
The sun is sinking and adds one more fun element to our already exciting expedition!
Arriving at night we head directly to get our tickets as the morning will only provide a 4am alarm and a line to depart by 5.
Next step… Machu Picchu!