On Sunday 1st may 2016, I woke up at 4:30 am, had breakfast and walked to the bus station. I took the bus to the entrance of the site (they know how to make their money : 12$ for a one way ticket). I arrived at the gate at 6 o’clock. I had to wait for my friend Iona as she was brave enough to walk up the 1700 steps (I didn’t want to be knackered before the day even started, but I took them on the way back).
At 6:30 we started our guided visit that we booked trough the hostel (30 Soles per person). Our guide was really good, he explained to us how the site was found in 1911 by Hiram Bingham an American archaeologist. He also explained the different parts of the site. At 6:45 the sun came out from behind the high mountains situated around Machu Picchu, this was exceptional ! I really recommend taking a guided tour so that you get to know the meaning of the whole site.
After the visit, we were able to walk around the mountain. We only took the ticket for Machu Picchu as the ones to hike up Wayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Montaña are a bit more expensive and the trail up to Wayna Picchu is really tricky: they make you sign a paper to say that they are not responsible if an accident happens.
We walked to the mirador, where you can take the “typical” photo. Then we decided to go to the Inca bridge 20 minute’s walk away. They say the path is narrow but it’s alright; you also have to sigh a paper when you pass the gate and sign out on the way back. After this we stayed on the very top of the terraces to take in the view and appreciate the moment. Visiting one of the Seven Wonders of the World does not happen everyday !
I was really motivated to walk to the Temple of the Sun (2’720m) which takes about 45 minutes. The Temple of the Sun is the final part of the famous Inca Trail (4 days and 3 nights). Hikers usually watch the sunrise from this point then walk down to the site. The walk up there is amazing : there is an incredible view over the river, the site and the winding road that leads to the entrance. I was in really good shape, it took me 35 minutes to climb up there, I think the lower altitude did help. At the top I ate my lunch box and enjoyed every moment ! I spoke to a French guy who had walked 200 km in 10 days all the way to Machu Picchu. It was really interesting talking with him and he was the first French-speaking person I’ve met in Peru.
After a while a the top, it was time to walk back down. When we got back to Machu Picchu, Iona and I spent some time in the shade as it was so hot before we decided to make our way down to Aguas Calientes. The trail down was pretty rough. 1700 steps after a whole day of up, down, right, left on Machu Picchu is painful ! My legs where shaking so much when we got near the end of the trail. When we arrived back at the hostel, we were able to take a shower and that was soooo good after being in the sun the whole day !
This day was a BLAST for me ! I’m so happy I did it. It’s something that will stay in with me for the rest of my life !