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Ancient Machu Picchu

There are certain places in the world that are a requisite visit for any self-respectable traveler. Machu Picchu is one of those places. I am sure you have seen the typical pictures of the ruins nestled at the top of an Andean mountain, so I offer you a different perspective of this gorgeous vestige of civilization.

I was in the middle of a two month trip through South America and had recently met up with my two brothers in Ecuador before flying into Cusco to begin the four-day Inca trail hike. We had arrived the same day that we were to start the hike and the only one who was prepared for the sub-zero temperatures was my older brother. In true style, my younger brother and I were just relying heavily on luck and the generosity of others. =) There is a lot more to the story, including a doggie peeing on us while we slept, a whirlwind romance with a llama and some unfortunate emergency defecation on the Andes. It is just not a good trip unless you get a good poopie story out of it. Wait until you hear my Bolivia story … but, let’s just leave that for another time. Needless to say we were the last ones to start the hike and the first ones to make the manly entrance into Machu Picchu. We pride ourselves on being stubbornly determined about these things.

When we arrived we were greeted by a thick cover of fog that obscured the entire site. It might as well have been Martha Stewart’s vineyard for all we were able to discern from our vantage point. We had to wait until the fog burned off a bit so we took the opportunity to video tape ourselves making fools of … ourselves (and thus the Machu Picchu crab walk was born). When we were finally able to run around the ruins we quickly got lost in a labyrinth of stone passages and tried to soak it all in. You end up floating around from one place to the next imagining what the ancient Incas must have been like and what it must have felt like to be the race who lived in a city so close to the heavens. Not even the annoying droves of giggling school-girls with their Hello Kitty* visors could take away from the experience.

* School girls, I love Hello Kitty as much as the next guy, but there is a place for everything and Machu Picchu is not the place for all that pink.