"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day. And I believe in miracles."
~ Audrey Hepburn

5.01.2011

The Moment You've All Been Waiting For...

***
WARNING: You are about to experience what is 
commonly known as PHOTO OVERLOAD.
Proceed with caution.
***

To put it simply, Machu Picchu is an Incan ruin hidden on the side of a mountain
in the middle of the jungle in Peru. It is said to have once been a place of worship
or possibly a shrine to one of their emperors. What makes it so incredible is that
it was only discovered 100 years ago, which means it was in no way affected or
damaged by the Spanish conquistadores, like most Incan sites were. 

To get to Macchu Picchu, you have to take a train to a small city in the jungle called
Aguas Calientes. To reach the ruins from there, you take a short bus ride up the
mountain. We decided to stay the night in Aguas Calientes the night before we
went up to Machu Pichhu so that we could be among the first to arrive
 in the morning (the first 200 people to arrive get passes to climb Huayna Picchu, 
a tall mountain next to the ruins which offers an incredible view). 
Aguas Calientes was a pretty cool little city -- besides the fact that the 
local restaurant/shop owners mobbed us wherever we went. 

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The next morning, we were a bit worried that we were going to have a rough day because 
A) it was already raining when we woke up at 3:30 AM &  B) by the time we got
 out to the bus at 4:30 AM, there was already a huuuuge line of people waiting! 
But do not fret! We were among the last people to receive a pass to Huayna Picchu. 

Hooray!

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BTW, the bus ride to Machu Picchu was crazy! I felt like I was on Disney's Jungle Cruise, 
except... it was real!!! I wish I had better pictures to show you, but we were going soooo fast. 
Which is terrifying, considering we were flying up a mountain in a sharp zig-zag motion.

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 I can't say much about the ruins other than that they are absolutely breathtaking.

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I tried to do a handstand, which is on my Day Zero Project list, 
but apparently I have no sense of balance whatsoever.

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The trail up to Huayna Picchu was just as beautiful. 
Other than the fact that the hour-long trek was practically vertical, it was quite enjoyable. 
The next picture is of the entire mountain. If you squint, you can see the trail we took. 
See what I mean???

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The view below us became increasingly better as we climbed the mountain.
I spotted a river that bore a striking resemblance to the chocolate river
that one Augostos Gloop fell into in the movie Willy Wonka. Yummm.

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When we reached the very top, there was fog covering everything :(
We chilled up there for quite some time, though, so we were able
 to get pictures of the ruins once the fog drifted away. 


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This group insisted on taking a picture with us hahahahah

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Nap time!!! This is where we all got bitten by mysterious Peruvian bugs.
If you go to Machu Picchu, WEAR BUG SPRAY!!! We itchhh :(

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She is pointing to the top of Huayna Picchu, where we climbed earlier that day

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And then... we discovered the alpacas. The babies were soooo soft


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Right before the park closed, we walked to see The Incan Bride,
one of the famous sights in the ruins. While the walk to the bridge
was gorgeous, the bridge itself wasn't too exciting

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And that, my friends, is all! A day I will never forget.
We were at Machu Picchu for 12 hours, literally from dawn until dusk.
When we got back to our hostel in Aguas Calientes, we showered, bought 
pizza, devoured said pizza, and then laid around in our beds talking and reading.
While Rachel was out by 8:30 PM, I think the rest of us fell asleep around 10 PM.

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Up next, my 13 year-old self's dreams come true -- we go to Lake Titicaca!

4 comments:

lorena said...

Just incredible! Love the pics!

Melissa said...

seeing this pictures make me so happy for you but they also make me miss you SO much!! :( i can't wait till july 26th my little caramel latte <3

Marcella Alyssa said...

Wow, you make me sound so delicious! <3

Michelle said...

those pictures are amaaazinnnnggg!!!! i'm so jealous, but also, like melissa said, they make me miss you and your craziness. like your handstand photos! hahaha