If you want to read all about Machu Picchu, there are a lot of books. There’s a very good article on Wikipedia. And a simple Google search will find you photos that are far better than the ones I took.
I’m not going to write about Machu Picchu. Read about it elsewhere if you want.
Instead, I’m going to write about me.
I went to Machu Picchu.
People told me it’s the trip of a lifetime. It’s a deeply spiritual experience. Magical. If you don’t believe in God, you will after you visit this place (though which god you’ll believe in is uncertain). One person said as high as my expectations might be, the reality is so much higher.
So naturally my expectations were high.
And the reality was exactly what I expected.
The danger of travel
It can be risky to travel. You can get sick or have an accident or get pickpocketed or lose your passport or forget your phone charger in your last hotel.
But you can recover from all those calamities.
What’s much harder to recover from is the loss of wonder.
The first time I went to Europe, I remember feeling all the feels: looking out the airplane window at lands I’d never seen before, lands that looked different somehow, rolling green hills and irregularly shaped farms, small villages I just knew were quaint beyond my imagination.
The first time I stepped on land in Europe was in Paris. Paris! A city that existed so vividly in my dreams but was even more of a dream when it was real.
When reality exceeds imagination, that’s the joy I look for when I travel. The more closely aligned my dreams are with the actual experience, the less wonderful the adventure.
This trip, so far, is meeting my expectations in every way. It is just what I imagined. It is fabulous.
And it is disappointing.
I am confident that the wonder and magic of travel will reassert themselves. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe when we get to the Galápagos. Maybe not on this trip.
But they will come back.
Okay, a little about Machu Picchu. It is truly awe inspiring. Especially when I realize that from the time the Inca first settled here and began building until the time they deserted the settlement, less than 100 years passed. How did they create such a massive and brilliantly conceived series of terraces and buildings, so sound in construction that they almost look pristine 500 years later? I just can’t wrap my brain around it.
It was spectacular, but for me it was not mystical or spiritual. I’m not sure it was supposed to be. But I was hoping for that kind of experience.
I take full responsibility for the experience I had there. Machu Picchu was every bit of glorious to behold.
The photo at the top of this page was what I encountered when I arrived on Saturday morning. Okay, yes, that was less than glorious to behold. But Friday was perfect weather, and after a short while on Saturday morning the fog lifted and i got a lot of photos that actually show stuff. Here are a few to whet your appetite.
Check the rest of my photos. They don’t do it justice, but they are more eloquent than my words.