Thursday, August 28, 2014


The impressive tall mountain usually seen as a backdrop to most photos taken of Machupicchu is called Huayna (Wayna) picchu.  The strenuous one-hour hike to it's peak is limited to two groups of 200 hikers per day, and must be reserved well in advance.  We were fortunate to be able to secure tickets for the 7:00 - 8:00 a.m. time slot on Wednesday, June 11, 2014.  Arising around 5:00 a.m., we walked to a neighboring hotel for a breakfast buffet and then lined up for the first (6:00 a.m.) bus to the entrance of Machupicchu.  The 20-minutes ride zigzags up the face of the mountain on narrow dirt roads.  How the bus drivers manage to pass each other with such ease on this treacherous road was unbelievable! The road can be seen well from Huaynapicchu.  When the bus came to a stop, we joined the queue to enter sanctuary and then hurriedly made our way across the site.  Here are some of our first views of the surroundings.  Amazing!

I had done a lot of research about the hike up Huaynapicchu because I have a fear of heights in some situations and I worried about altitude sickness.  So many people made this hike seem terrifying and difficult.  Maybe it is because of our hiking experiences in Korea which are quite similar in many respects, but we didn't feel too fearful or challenged at any stage of the hike.  The experience was one I will treasure forever!  The weather was perfect - crisp and cool in the morning with clear sunny skies all day long.  I did break a sweat climbing Huaynapicchu, but that was due to effort, not weather.  I was happy to see one solitary cloud drift in front of the mountain shortly before our hike began.  As you can see, the climb was intense and exhilarating, and the views absolutely spectacular!

At the peak, Bob climbed atop the highest boulder, and for the first time in his life experienced a moment of acrophobia.  There wasn't much room up there, and hikers were not far behind us, so we began our descent.  The trail takes you to a large slick rock which you slide down and then it wraps around the peak where there are some beautiful ruins and stunning views of the river and valley below.  Shortly thereafter you join the same path that led to the top, and reverse your way down the mountain.  In many ways, the descent was more difficult than the climb.  I scooted on my seat down one long stretch of very narrow steps.


What an amazing hike!

No comments:

Post a Comment