MVTB#3 – The Big Hike

Saturday, March 17, 2012
Cusco, Peru

Second crack at this after accidentally deleting the first version.

St. Patrick’s Day marked the official start to our adventures, although to be honest, they didn’t start at breakneck pace, after four flights in three countries over a 28 hour span, Megan and I were happy just to be able to have a warm shower and laze around for a bit. When we finally got moving we headed to Sacsayhuaman (pronounced “Sexy Woman” – no, seriously!), the ruins of an ancient Inca fortress perched on one of the mountains that surround Cusco. Dating back hundreds of years, the fortress was an engineering marvel, as they hauled 100-tonne blocks to the top of the mountain and then put them together so snugly that it was basically earthquake proof. Sadly it was not Spaniards-proof, and when the Conquistadors took over, they started hauling off rock from the fortress to build their own houses in Cusco.

Sacsayhuaman

The Spaniards that took over Peru were pretty rotten fellows right from the start when the Spanish leader Francisco Pizarro captured Atahualpa, leader of the Incas. He ransomed Atahualpa back to his people, who filled an entire room twice with silver and once with gold, only to have Pizarro execute him anyhow.

Tomorrow we start our journey to see the grand palace of Atahualpa’s relatives – taking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu! I’ve been looking forward to this part of our adventure for a long time, but partly with some trepidation. The trail is a four-day, 43 km hike with altitude reaching 4200 meters! We’ll have to travel over mountain passes and then down through the Cloud Forest to find the hidden ruins.

Given the trek we’re about to begin, I thought this song was the most appropriate (sorry, can’t imbed the link on my iPad, so you’ll have to copy and paste):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGp5LKfGtvM&feature=related

As I doubt that there’ll be much for Internet cafes along the trail, this is likely our last entry for a while! See you on the other side!


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