Tag Archives: Machu Picchu

Inca Trail – To Do Or Not To Do? – Journey In Peru

Deciding to travel to Peru from Ireland or Europe can be a big deal especially as the price of the flight is often quite staggering and especially so during peak season. The lure of Machu Picchu, now a World Wonder and famous UNESCO heritage site of the lost Inca civilisation, captures the imagination to the extent that travellers often sign up for the Inca Trail that leads there without ever having done this type of thing before.

There are some important factors to consider before signing up to undertake some days of trekking in Peru. Firstly, I will outline, I have been to Peru twice and have even lived quite close to the Inca Trail but have not done the hike itself. I had my own reasons for this.

Two important factors to consider are, your fitness level and your adjustment to being at higher altitude than usual.

If you excersise a lot, have good stamina, are used to hiking, especially for long durations then possibly you will be more equipped for spending a couple of days of hiking the Inca Trail. If you have not experienced the thrill of hiking in hills and mountains why not join a group in your local area, who are skilled in guiding you and see if you enjoy the experience. Your expensive holiday should definitely be one that you fully enjoy.

If you have already lived in high altitude environments then you will know your bodies adjustment and reaction to this. If you have not experienced being at high altitude it is very important to educate yourself on the symptoms and effects that can occur. You really don’t know until you go, how this will effect you. It has no bearing on age or fitness level.

Machu Picchu (2430m asl) is actually at a much lower altitude level than cities such as Cuzco and Puno for example. It is best to acclimatise slowly by spending a few days in high altitude before attempting hiking treks that take you further away from access to medical care.

Always heed the signs of altitude sickness and report to your guide if travelling in a group. Guides should be trained in health and safety. Tour companies usually have these saftey guidelines well out-lined for their clients.

Peru is an amazing country with so much to offer. Machu Picchu may be its crowning glory for tourists but there is so much more to discover such as the Amazon area, Lake Titicaca and its floating reed islands and Uros civilisation, Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley, Cuzco City once the capital of the Incas and Arequipa’s volcanoes and architecture.

Floating Reed Islands and Uros People on Lake Titicaca

Floating Reed Islands and Uros People on Lake Titicaca

Many people travel solo and do the back-packer thing which can be less luxurious and less expensive, while many others take advantage of an organised tour which take you much more quickly around the vast circuit of treasures in a shorter space of time.

Arequipa Peru Volcano

Arequipa Peru Volcano

Trekking and hiking can be a lot of fun and brings a sense of achievement and opportunity for bonding with fellow trekkers. Whatever you decide, be safe, be well and choose the option that will make your travel experience the most enjoyable for you.

If you do consider trekking the Inca Trail have some consideration for the ones dedicated to carrying your back-pack. This is a service that is provided for travellers within tour groups. I have spoken with one young man who did this work for a while before he studied for the hospitality industry. His recollection of carrying the heavy back-packs of travellers was not the most joyous. So put yourself in the shoes of others and pack as lightly as possible.

Enjoy your trip. If you have enjoyed my blog and this post and found it particularly useful why not repay me by sharing the post or leaving a comment.

© Caroline Cunningham – Author of Wild Star Landing and Journey In Peru

 

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For Your Eyes Only – Journey In Peru

My story ‘Journey in Peru’ is coming to an end. If you think the ending was a simple matter of getting a taxi to airport and flying straight to Ireland, well no, the journey’s end had even more adventure to be lived.

Journey In Peru Book Coming Soon

Journey In Peru Book Coming Soon

 

Journey In Peru - Available Soon

Journey In Peru – Available Soon

Soon I will be publishing my story in its entirety, available for purchase through on-line stores and my websites.

This will serve as a forerunner and introductory to my first novel once published, which details the adventures of fictional character Kitty Clinch in Peru, that damsel who lured me to Peru a second time.

Journey In Peru - Mini Novel

Journey In Peru – Mini Novel

Thank you once again for reading and especially those of you who showed appreciation through comments and ‘likes’. I have received the highest praise a writer could wish for, from readers who contacted me in person to say exactly how my story made them feel. This is the ultimate reward for a writer, and especially one who has arrived late in years to this wonderful art form of expression through words.

Machu Picchu - Journey In Peru

Machu Picchu – Journey In Peru

You can sign up for the final posts (installments) of ‘Journey In Peru’ by entering your email address in the space provided either to the right side of this page (if you are using PC) or at the very bottom of the post (if using mobile phone). The ‘follow’ (subscribe) form is also found on the Home page and the ‘About’ section. All set for the ending of ‘Journey In Peru’!

Journey In Peru - Available soon

Journey In Peru – Available soon

©Caroline Cunningham Author of Wild Star Landing (Blog)

 

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A Final Blessing – Journey In Peru

Waking up that morning was very different from all the others spent in this Sacred Valley story-book town. Like that first morning, my clothes for the day were arranged close to my bed, not because of the cold morning air, rather to save time for the last of everything.

Henry opened the door to the street and let me out. We spared our words for later. At seven in the morning I took my last walk around the world heritage town of Ollantaytambo. I took in the sounds of the gushing silvery water, racing through the river and the stone cut aqua-ducts. I relished the cobbled stones pressing unevenly through the soles of my shoes. I spied a large bird, possibly the condor, soaring way up high against the jagged peaks that traced the surrounding skyline.

Journey In Peru - A Final Blessing

Journey In Peru – A Final Blessing

The train station was quiet, as the early morning train had already taken its first passengers of the day to Machu Picchu, plus the tourist season was waning a little. Not many auto-taxi’s buzzing around yet and most shops had yet to open, including that of my friend Hoovert who had made me promise to call to say a last goodbye.

Ollantaytambo Peru

Ollantaytambo Peru

I had another area, to complete the tour, amidst the labyrinth of Cancha Inca buildings. A woman dressed in traditional attire, complete with the relevant hat of the area, spied me looking through the door of her courtyard. She gave me a great big smile and waved as if, she not only knew me, but sensed that I was leaving.

Cancha Inca Buildings

Cancha Inca Buildings

The Fortalezza was as stunning in the early morning as at any other time of day. The golden statue of La Ñusta (Inca Princess) urged a more positive spring to my parting steps. The Apu watched over me from Pinku Lluna as I made my way through the granite grid.

I walked on the market side of town passing my first home of Qusiqoller. The memories of those first mornings were strong. The fresh cool air, the hushed murmuring of people gathering their grasses near the entrance to the market and the men with taxi’s lining up for the days trips to Cuzco, Urubamba and other locations.

Ollantaytambo - Wild Star Landing

Ollantaytambo – Wild Star Landing

I stood in the middle of the Plaza De Armas square. I tried not focus on the closed doors of the Coffee Tree, where I had spent many of my days helping out and cementing friendships that would last forever. The ancient tree that was declared to be dying, looked upon its newly planted counterpart positioned close by. During my nine weeks in this town I had witnessed significant change not only in myself but for this little place also. Nothing stands still. We are always moving forward. The longer we stand still, the faster we die.

The Tree's - Plaza De Armas

The Tree’s – Plaza De Armas

Saying GoodBye at Worlds Coffee Cafe

Saying GoodBye at Worlds Coffee Cafe

Apu - Pinku Lluna

Apu – Pinku Lluna

One last vision to install in my memory banks. I took the avenue that gives the greatest view of this town’s most special Apu. She was glorious against the azure sky. I understood why these people, descended from Incas, held Veronica in such special reverence. There was something very inspiring and promising about that glacial mountain.

Veronica - Apu Mountain God

From the very beginning it had intrigued me. It held some secret of a life more extraordinary which lay in waiting of discovery. I had dared to travel beyond her stature by taking that trip to Santa Teresa. I had glimpsed a world to which I could never fully belong, because, my growing up entailed an entirely different set of memories and experience, to those who had furrowed in the midst of Veronica’s domain.

Early Morning Ollantaytambo Peru

Early Morning Ollantaytambo Peru

Journey In Peru - Wild Star Landing

Journey In Peru – Wild Star Landing

A lurking sorrow began to well. Just in time, I received her final blessing. ‘Yes, you do belong here’. I bowed to the glimmering mountain. Taking her message to me I echoed, ‘I do belong!’ I had been embraced by the people of this town. The final days had been the most telling. They were just as sad as I was, to be saying goodbye. I had been told over and over that I was regarded as family, not just of one family but of those whose threshold’s I had crossed. I had allowed their ways to merge slowly and gently with my own, keeping judgement and unnecessary fear in the deeper dungeons of my heart. We had helped each other at every opportunity, to learn, to grow, to understand. I thought I had lost a great big battle that I had set up for myself but here I was realising how much I had won.

Sorrow turned to gratitude, the kind that also makes you cry, so my tears did not go to waste. I was really going to miss this wonderful place, all of its people, every sight and sound. Hoovert was not yet at his shop. At least we had said goodbye the night before.

The Shop On The Corner

The Shop On The Corner

I returned to collect my bags. Now the pangs of departure were setting in. ‘We feel the same,’ Catty consoled me as she saw the evidence of my sadness. Henry allowed me to sob upon his shoulder for some minutes without any words save for, ‘ I feel the same.’ Catty could not let me go without the reminder that I was to return soon. Her last wish for me I cannot share because I have not found it yet but it was for something ‘good.’

Getting ready for the road to Cuzco

Getting ready for the road to Cuzco

Paola and Liz were also taking the trip with me to Cuzco, as they were returning to their home, at that time, in Lima. I was grateful to have their company. As the mini-bus (taxi) pulled away from the area of the train station, I quickly asked Liz to request the driver to slow down and beep his horn as we passed by Hoovert’s shop. He actually stopped outside the door, I could see Hoovert sweeping the dusty floor. He saw me waving and rushed to the mini-bus. Opening the door wide, he stepped inside and gave me the greatest hug and a parting kiss. As the mini-bus pulled away I watched through the rear window. Hoowert stood in the middle of the road, with his hand held in high, in Inca-style salute, until we were out of each others’ sight.
The Plaza De Armas remained quiet at that hour and the Coffee Tree, unusually, was not yet opened for business.

Journey In Peru

Journey In Peru

The mini-bus made two rounds of the square before making for the exit route. Then it was the closing of the book, the one whose pages I had stepped cautiously between in my first days in this ‘Living Inca Museum’. Like the gaps between the cobbled stones I had fitted nicely there.

Veronica Glacier Peru

Veronica Glacier Peru

I took my memories with me, all the gentle sources of love, all the friendship and the final blessing. I made a promise, never to forget a single moment of that special time in my life which allowed for so much transformation. But, there was much weeping all the same, as I watched the Sacred Valley slowly slip away to the enormity of mountains and our descent into the throb of Cuzco city.

©Caroline Cunningham Author Of Wild Star Landing (Blog)

Three Times Finalist In Ireland Blog Awards 2015

Three Times Finalist In Ireland Blog Awards 2015

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Muy Peligro Motorbike – Journey In Peru

My friends were dying to see my photos of Machu Picchu. I had done the rounds with my PC ending up at The Coffee Tree with Alex. Only a few remaining days I would have amongst my Peruvian family. It was hitting me hard. I came, an unfamiliar person, to this town and country, and within two months it had attached its tendrils to the heart of me.

It was quiet in The Coffee Tree that afternoon. Alex started telling me about a festival in Patacancha. It was a place in the mountains, a half hour drive from Ollantaytambo. ‘Quires ir?’ he asked. ‘Ahora?’ I replied. He nodded, yes, meaning he was prepared to go straight away. I was curious. How would we get there? Who would mind the Coffee Tree? He planned to go there on his motor bike and the cafe would close for the afternoon.

MaPi - Machu Picchu

MaPi – Machu Picchu

There was only one other time I ever saw the closing of the Coffee Tree, it was the day all the people from Calca returned to their hometown for the celebration of a religious festival. I shook my head. It was appealing but I didn’t fancy risking the journey on a motorbike. Alex sent Maria to enquire about the availability of a car. She returned minutes later saying ‘no hay’. Alex decided he would need to check for himself. He insisted that he would find someone with a car to take us there.

Ollantaytambo Peru

Ollantaytambo Peru

I needed to return to my lodgings with my PC and take a jacket, so we agreed to meet around the corner outside Worlds Coffee (cafe) in ten minutes. When I arrived there, Alex and Maria were waiting alongside the motorbike. There was no car available.

I was shaking my head about the proposition of going on the motorbike. We had no helmets, no protective gear at all and my head was still sore from the blow I received from the rock at Machu Picchu only the day before. I was feeling wounded and unwilling to risk further disaster. ‘Muy peligro, muy peligro!!’ I kept repeating over and over.

Julio, Alex’s brother and owner of World’s Coffee had stepped out to observe our situation. Alex dug inside his pocket and produced his driver’s licence to me. Perhaps he was offended that I was so distrusting but I could not allay my fears just then. Julio did his best to encourage me but I wasn’t having any of it.

Alex was talking rapidly in Spanish. I could no longer understand him. He went into the shop next door to find Hoowert who spoke excellently in English. Hoowert listened to Alex and heard my complaint. My good friend turned to me and said in English, ‘Caroline, you need adventure in your life, you should go!’ I heard him well. He was right. I needed adventure. I was about to leave this fantastic country very soon and I had not ventured very far from the little town which I had made my home.

The Road to Cuzco from through The Sacred Valley Peru

The Road to Cuzco from through The Sacred Valley Peru

There were many sites worthy of a visit, many trails worth climbing and exploring, much for an adventurer to achieve but I had had very different agenda for my visit and my funds were limited, so, apart from trips to Cuzco and Machu Picchu I had restricted my opportunity in many ways.

I took Hoowert’s good advice and sat on the motorbike between Alex and Maria. Off we set, me stating my wishes that we would go slowly and reminding Alex that further up the road there was an un-covered chamber, quite sizeable, which he must avoid.

Ollantaytambo Peru

Ollantaytambo Peru

Soon I realised I could relax. My friend, who loves fast music and fun had much sense in his driving. It was uphill all the way, gradually at first and then much steeper as the bends became more acute and winding. We passed farmers walking along the road with shovels upon their shoulders and donkeys or cows before them. A dog chased us as we passed one household and it had great fun nipping at our ankles. The Patacancha River flowed vigorously from the mountain as we climbed and the air got steadily cooler. As we came nearer to our destination there were hints of wet snow pitting in our faces. The week of unexpected rain had brought a sudden chill to the area and in higher parts it was more apparent.

Patacancha River Ollantataytambo Train Station

Patacancha River Ollantataytambo Train Station

The journey was much longer than anticipated and I realised afterwards why the drivers of the cars may have been unwilling to take us to this place. Within fifty minutes or thereabouts, we arrived at the village of Patacancha.

©Caroline Cunningham Author Of Wild Star Landing

 

Best Travel Blog (Personal) 2015 Irish Blog Awards

Best Travel Blog (Personal) 2015 Irish Blog Awards

Best Blog Article in 2015 Irish Blog Awards (The Silent Sun)

Best Blog Article in 2015 Irish Blog Awards (The Silent Sun)

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Waiting – Journey In Peru

The station in Machu Picchu town was over-crowded and stuffy. Groups of people piled together leaving little space for manoeuvre. Around me, the snippets of many languages, Italian, Spanish, French and Hebrew, lots of people with lots to say, most likely about their visit to the ‘Lost City Of The Inca’s’.

Train Station Machu Picchu Town

Train Station Machu Picchu Town

I clambered around the masses looking for signs of an official with information. Eventually I grasped what was happening. A train had malfunctioned. There were also rumours of a minor landslide affecting a part of the tracks. Whatever the story, there were imminent delays of at least two hours.

Machu Picchu Train Station

Machu Picchu Train Station

Because of the uncertainty, it was necessary to stay close to the station. I went outside. The air was cooling rapidly, a feature of being surrounded at close range by towering peaks.

Train Station Machu Picchu

Train Station Machu Picchu

A year ago I was one of those bunches of touring groups, exhilarated by the wonders of Peru, a country mostly known around the world solely for its famous mountain. Those who take the time to visit usually discover Peru is a country of many treasures such as the floating islands on Lake Titicaca, the Nazca Lines and the ‘Living Inca Museum’ of Ollantaytambo, now my Peruvian home.

Flowers at Machu Picchu Station

Flowers at Machu Picchu Station

I did not feel like a tourist here and I knew I would never quite belong to this country either. It was an in between place. Just like waiting at the station for the right train. I had to wait. In my life, whilst I chose a path less travelled, I also had to wait. When you don’t know when your train is coming, that ‘wait’ can sometimes cause impatience unless you can find something useful to do meanwhile.

Flowers at Machu Picchu Station

Flowers at Machu Picchu Station

This is exactly how my life had been. I had waited, not without doing, for almost 14 years at this point. Sure, there had been huge transformation but still lots of waiting. And that nearly drove me insane.

Machu Picchu Town

Machu Picchu Town

I had to move eventually. I decided that moving far away was better than a stone’s throw. I wasn’t sorry. To be true to myself, outside of my usual reference points and without any other influence, particularly of those who are used to wielding their authority, this was a worthwhile test of self.

Machu Picchu Town

Machu Picchu Town

I was making a very new and exciting discovery. I was stronger than I had realized. I had gained much respect amongst the people I had befriended here and this without doing anything that I would have regarded as amazing. I was simply being myself. I didn’t try to please anyone or seek their approval.

Machu Picchu Town

Machu Picchu Town

I dared the lion in his den with regards to an emotional vulnerability and I lost. In hindsight, it was a brilliant exercise because it taught me to handle grief. It takes a lot of practice, especially if grief is mishandled from an early age.

Inca and Condor Machu Picchu Town

Inca and Condor Machu Picchu Town

There are many roads to freedom, this was mine. There was a prize waiting for me but first I had to take the train back to Ollantaytambo and finish out the remainder of my journey in Peru.

Trains in Peru, to the best of my knowledge, are usually quite efficient! (o;

©Caroline Cunningham Author Of Wild Star Landing (Blog)

Best Travel Blog (Personal) 2015 Irish Blog Awards

Best Travel Blog (Personal) 2015 Irish Blog Awards

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Machu Picchu Strikes A Blow – Journey In Peru

At 4.15am, Henry, in his sleepy state, unlocked the door and wished me well for my trip. I stepped into the darkness and directed myself towards the train station, hushed in silence, passing other moving bodies along the way.

Train To Machu Picchu

Train To Machu Picchu

Train To Machu Picchu - Journey In Peru

Train To Machu Picchu – Journey In Peru

I found my seat in the allotted carriage and watched some other passengers taking photos of each other. I had my packed lunch from the Coffee Tree and my rain coat. A week of unexpected rain had passed but the skies were not yet completely clear.

At last the train began to glide slowly through the flat floor of the valley, with the Urubamba river alongside on the left and neat, green, peaceful fields on the right. The towering mountains draped the scene and somewhere amongst them was the enshrined city of Machu Picchu or ‘MaPi’ as it was affectionately known by local Peruvians.

Early Morning Aguas Calientes Peru

Early Morning Aguas Calientes Peru

I arrived in Machu Picchu town, (also known as Aguas Calientes) at 6a.m. It was much quieter than I had expected, based on my visit the previous year as part of a holiday tour. The air was slightly warmer than that of Ollantaytambo, perhaps due to the lower altitude and jungle terrain. There was a sweet floral perfume in the air and clumps of mist were visible not far above. The mountain was at its closest. Looking upwards you could not detect its beginnings.

Machu Picchu Aguas Calientes Peru

Machu Picchu Aguas Calientes Peru

Without waiting further I crossed a wooden bridge and found the place to purchase my ticket for the mini-bus that would take me to the entrance of the Inca citadel. An elderly Peruvian woman in modest attire boarded and sat near me at the back of the bus. She was solemn in her silence, she too was taking pilgrimage.

Machu Picchu Entrance

Machu Picchu Entrance

My anticipation heighted as the bus rounded the sharp steep bends delivering me to the top of the mountain. Once my passport was checked I made my entrance. I went without the services of a tour guide this time. I decided to explore the path to the Sun Gate ‘Inti Punku’ instead. I passed the signs hailing the work of Hiram Bingham, the explorer credited with exposing the ‘Lost Inca City’ and found the path to Inti Punku.

Along the Inca Path Machu Picchu Peru

Along the Inca Path Machu Picchu Peru

My rain coat kept out the clinging mist as I took care on the stone path which was wet and slippy. Even at close range the glory of Machu Picchu was at this hour unrevealed. I decided not to look behind until I reached Inti Punku, hoping the skies would clear by then. The walk was longer than I had anticipated, at least an hour. I met very few travellers on the path. I stopped sometimes to observe cute little birds, lamas, beautiful orchids and trees.

Llamas at Machu Picchu

Llamas at Machu Picchu

Llamas at Machu Picchu

Llamas at Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu Flora

Machu Picchu Flora

Birds at Machu Picchu

Birds at Machu Picchu

Mach Picchu Nature and Hertiage

Mach Picchu Nature and Hertiage

At last, in the distance, was the platform of the Sun Gate, the entrance to Machu Picchu for those arriving from the Inca Trail. The path was steeper there so I stopped briefly for a break and to adjust my attire. What happened next was sudden and shocking. I banged my head off a piece of rock jutting out just before me. I’m baffled as to how I didn’t notice it, being so large, but I suppose I had been watching the stones beneath my feet rather than above and my range of vision had been hampered by the hood of my rain jacket.

Mind The Rock - Machu Picchu

Mind The Rock – Machu Picchu

Winding Road to Inca Citadel as seen from Sun Gate

Winding Road to Inca Citadel as seen from Sun Gate

Misty Morning at Machu Picchu - View from Inti Punku

Misty Morning at Machu Picchu – View from Inti Punku

For some minutes I was dazed. Apart from the physical smart of the impact, the emotional hurt that it triggered went far deeper. Every wrong-doing against my being sprang forth with a vengeance to taunt me. How could a sacred mountain, a world wonder, do this to me? After all the trials and tribulations I had come through, this visit was to be the souls caress, a memory to cherish in times of future trials. The Inca’s were regarded as a genius race. Which genius amongst them had considered the placement of this particular rock, which caused me such pain?

I wiped tears from my eyes and grappled with the shock of it. With weaker steps I climbed to the Sun Gate. A guard was standing there, a Peruvian man whose job is it to ensure that people respect the rules of preservation. I was concerned about the blow to my head in case of concussion later on and being conscious of the long walk I would probably make alone back to the citadel. I debated telling the guard about my accident, fearful that, if I needed medical attention I might be stretchered off the mountain and completely miss out on the day’s adventure.

Approaching Machu Picchu Citadel from Inti Punku

Approaching Machu Picchu Citadel from Inti Punku

He must have sensed my apprehension as he approached me and enquired if I was OK. He spoke to me in Spanish. I attempted to tell him about my accident but I didn’t know all the words to describe accurately what had happened. I relied on actions and words that implied ‘sore head’. He didn’t understand me. I got a little upset and had to walk away until my frustration subsided.

Eventually he came and stood beside me once more, He offered me his biscuits and chatted to me. He talked about the Inca Trail and told me he had spotted a bear in this particular spot earlier that year. He asked me where I was from and about my travels and was curious as to how I came to be travelling alone. And most his most curious question of all ‘why aren’t you married?’!!! I

‘Because I’m an artist!’ I replied more indignantly now, getting tired of this question and assumption that being married is some kind of life aim that guarantees eternal bliss. It was not fair to say that being an artist denies a person of the ability to be married. It was perhaps more true to say ‘because I’m a woman and I’m an artist.’

Maybe I am wrong to assume that my sensitivities as a woman were common to other women. Love, in the romantic sense, was something I regarded to be so precious and rare that if I were to find it, my artistic dreams might suffer and since I had not yet developed a healthy trust for the opposite sex, I was doubly wary of wandering into that realm.

Flora at Machu Picchu

Flora at Machu Picchu

Flora at Machu Picchu

Flora at Machu Picchu

I had already been burnt from what I thought would be a simpler option. It did not matter to me if the one I loved was rich or poor so long as love was a mutual devotion. I had risked for the first time ever to see how strong I was in being true to myself and to see if love indeed could be available to me. But love was with-held and to top it all, a Sacred Mountain decided that I needed to learn some additional heart lesson by inflicting further pain upon me.

Flora at Machu Picchu

Flora at Machu Picchu

I spared the guard of my reasoning. His life was obviously a lot simpler than this, he certainly seemed content. It was best to preserve his condition.

Wild Star Landing - Journey In Peru

Wild Star Landing – Journey In Peru

The forest cloud wafted in snake like fashion above and around the citadel below. I didn’t get a clear photograph after all of that. I was keen to return to the heart of it and continue my exploration of the temples and houses and astronomy sites.

MaPi - Machu Picchu Peru

MaPi – Machu Picchu Peru

Machu Picchu Peru

Machu Picchu Peru

The sun never managed to completely wipe away the mist that day and as the ground was wet, it was necessary to keep moving. I stayed as long as possible soaking up the stillness and awesomeness of the depth of the valley below and the towering peaks that surrounded the citadel at close range.

Author Of Wild Star Landing

Author Of Wild Star Landing

Machu Picchu Peru

Machu Picchu Peru

We parted company. Despite the blow, I was grateful for the opportunity to return a second time to this spiritual place which I carry within me. And the lesson? Being too careful with my feet caused me not to look up to see the rock that was waiting for me. Or maybe I accredited too much perfection to the Inca race. They were human after all. And I got over it eventually.

Temple Of The Sun - Machu Picchu

Temple Of The Sun – Machu Picchu

Temple Of The Sun - Machu Picchu

Temple Of The Sun – Machu Picchu

Journey In Peru - Wild Star Landing

Journey In Peru – Wild Star Landing

©Caroline Cunningham Author Of Wild Star Landing (Blog)

Best Travel Blog (Personal) 2015 Irish Blog Awards

Best Travel Blog (Personal) 2015 Irish Blog Awards

 

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Sitting On My Pjamas – Journey In Peru

It was unusual to have lashing rain in the middle of the dry season, in Peru that is. It was not so unusual for an Irish person to see a downpour, but my Peruvian friends were caught unawares. That first night it rained heavily. I heard a dripping sound towards the end of my bed and by morning a neat patch of dampness had spread outwards upon my blankets.

Sacred Valley Peru

I had a chat with my friend Henry, the owner of this new hotel. He explained that he was arranging with the land-lord to fix the leak. It was not apparent how long this would take however. He took a look at my situation with the bed. The room was so small the bed could not be moved to avoid the leak. The rain was not stopping either.

Fortaleza in the Rain – Ollantaytambo

Henry was convinced the rain was a temporary thing, it being the dry season. He was amused by my questions about weather forecast. I realised that it was it was more an Irish obsession to be fixed on daily weather reports. In this part of the world, the weather was usually consistent with the seasons. The forecast however was not good. A week of rain was imminent. This was doubly not good as my trip to Machu Picchu was only days away.

Henry agreed to allow me to swap to another room. It was a slightly bigger room but the gap under door was wider and more exposed to the driving night time breeze. It was always cold in the night time. I was used to making a cave for myself within the heavy woven blankets. During this damp cold week I resorted to sitting on my pyjamas before changing and wore additional layers to keep warm.

Ollantaytambo Peru

Ollantaytambo Peru

The streets turned rapidly to mud. Mobile networks and internet were cut-off completely for a few days. There was a more isolated feel to it. The surrounding peaks gnarled a stormy greyness and snow fell on higher ground returning tourists swiftly to their base having had to abandon downhill biking trips.

Ollantaytambo Peru

Ollantaytambo Peru

Within a few days, the rain slowed to intermittent showers but a damp coolness remained throughout the week. The year before I had been fortunate to see the parting clouds revealing the Inca City of Machu Picchu in splendour beneath a pure blue radiant sky. How would it manifest itself on this second visit amidst the cold rain?

Outdoor Telephone Peru

Outdoor Telephone Peru

I was sympathetic to these elements having had so much pouring of my heart the previous week in Cuzco. I was living in a minor key and Machu Picchu was beckoning to accompany me within these strains. It was some just desert. I would eat it up and accept that it would be good for me no matter what.

©Caroline Cunningham Author Of Wild Star Landing Blog.

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