tirsdag 9. oktober 2012

Machu Picchu, Inca trail

Before anyone can go to Machu Picchu you have to register with a company, pay and wait about 3 days. I guess most people stay in the town of Cusco (over), as we did. Seeing Machu Picchu was one of the highlights of the South- and Central America trip. We arrived in Cusco on the 29th of March 2004, and started our trip towards MP on the 1st of April. 

The first day included a visit to a local family and we stayed with them for dinner. I remember that we played football and that it was very exhausting because we were about 3000 meters above the ground!
I remember seeing guinea pigs running around on the floor. They were probably dinner later!! 

This is Beate and me (remember this is 2004), and another two Norwegians, Gard and Iris, who were in our group for the Inca trail. There was also an English couple in our group, Kenneth and Christine from Kent. 

On the second day we started the Machu Picchu, Inca trail. We bought walking sticks and walked about 12 kilometers that day. It was a bit up and down, not too hard.

I remember day 3 as a day with waaaaayyyyy to much climbing!! I walked up stairs for 3,5 hours. 

It may not look so bad in a picture, but remember that we are 3200-3400 masl at the bottom, and the top was at 4200 metres. You don´t breath as easy up here..
After reaching the top we walked down for about an hour. My legs were like jello in the end!


On day 4 we walked 16 km, and visited 3-4 Inca sites along the way. 

Anny with one of our sherpas named Hernan. We had 6 sherpas and one guide. 

On day 5 we got up really early. They woke us up at 4 am with cocoa tea! We started walking around 5.30. First stop was "The sungate" where we all waited for the clouds to lift..

..in order to see the amazing Machu Picchu.

Me and my llama friend.

The Incas started building the "estate" around 1400, but abandoned it as an official site for the Inca rulers a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Although known locally, it was unknown to the outside world before being brought to international attention in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham. Since then, Machu Picchu has become an important tourist attraction. Most of the outlying buildings have been reconstructed in order to give tourists a better idea of what the structures originally looked like. By 1976, thirty percent of Machu Picchu had been restored. The restoration work continues to this day.
Since the site was never known to the Spanish during their conquest, it is highly significant as a relatively intact cultural site. Machu Picchu was declared a Peruvian Historical Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. In 2007, Machu Picchu was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in a worldwide Internet poll (Wikipedia). 

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