Machu Picchu

Had the most incredible day hiking by myself at Machu Picchu! My day started before dawn, i walked from my hostel in Ollantaytambo down to catch the 6:40 train through Inka Rail. I had my lunch packed and a spring in my step as I started on my adventure. Things were off to a great start, the sun was shining and i sat with some lovely people on the train…a couple from Venuzela and a guy from Brasil. The scenery during the 1.5 hour was the perfect warm up! We passed towering green hills and valleys, as the raging rio urumba was snaking its way beside the tracks all the while snow capped glaciers would make brief appearances in the distance! It was so beautiful. I arrived by 8am in Agues Caliente and had to figure out how to buy my ticket to Machu Picchu and make my way up the last 8km of winding road. I sorted myself out with relative ease and grace, despite my broken Spanish and was soon walking through the entrance gates just before 9am. I had studied the map from my lonely planet guide the night before and decided that I wanted to hike up to the Sun Gate or Inipiktu. This is where the Inka Trail ends and you start your decent into the valley as you see Machu Picchu laying before you. Before I had even explored the famous Inka ruins, I began my trek up to the Sun Gate. I wanted to do it before it got hot and busy, it was uphill about 2km without shade. About 15 minutes into the hike, I quickly realized how out of shape I was, this was also the second hike I had done since surgery. I took it slow, it was really nice to be on my own, going at my own pace all the while feeling a sense of peace and accomplishment. I think my whole body was smiling that day! I encountered so many beautiful sights….luminous white, blue and yellow butterflies playing in the sunshine, a green white and black hummingbird, and meditation spots where I could sit in solitude and gaze down into the ruins. I reached the Sun Gate in about an hour, the feeling of sitting up there and and gazing down at Machu Picchu with the sun overhead is something that I will never forget…I was really proud of myself and what I had accomplished to get to experience that moment! I sat up there for about 30 min like a king in his castle, doing my best to soak it all in before making my way back down. I had made it! The hardest part was now behind me…


After the Sun Gate, I encountered some llamas and slowly made my way through the various temples, terraces and plazas of this magical place. I found some great spots where I could sit on my own and just be! The temple of the Condor was a special place with incredible energy, there was even a huge heart shape in one of the large stone slabs! I had a wonderful day exploring and just being present, it really felt like the best gift I could have given myself!

I caught the train back that afternoon just as the clouds rolled in and the rain started. It felt great to curl up with a warm coffee as the scenery rolled past..i was so tired but it was that kind of wonderful exhaustion where you know you accomplished something really worthwhile!

One thought on “Machu Picchu

  1. Amazing stories Jules! Really nice descriptions of your experience! I’m really wishing I could travel again now 🙂
    Enjoy the rest of your journey! Love always, Sarah

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