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Climbing Huayna Piccu (Machu Piccu, Peru)

 “You just do it, then if you die, you die.”
T. Scott McLeod,    

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Machu Piccu with Huayna Piccu in background

 

It was a chilly beautiful morning in Aguas Calientes, Machu Piccu. I repacked my bag giving careful thought to what I could eliminate. (Did I really need Mac Lipstick, lotion, hand sanitizer and handwipes or that second bottle of water?). I grabbed a Sandwich  (no food for purchase in park) from the hotel’s breakfast bar and walked to the bus station at about 5:40am. The bus ride was 30 minutes so I thought this would give me enough time for my 7:00am Huayna Piccu Entrance . When I arrived at the bus station, I realised that there were easily 300 people in line in front of me and I wished I showed up earlier.  

I couldnt sleep the night before, I was very nervous about what I was about to do. I was still having dizzy spells from Altitude sickness, I feared heights and I wasnt in the best physical shape. I thought about all the youtube videos I watched showing the narrow path on the side of the cliffs and the German tourist who fell to his death on this path only a few weeks earlier. I was a terrified and even had a second thought or two.

When I entered Machu Piccu, the park took my breath away but then I saw handsome Huayna Piccu rising magnificiently out of the valley wrapped in a blanket of clouds. The clouds had a few breaks here and there as if daring me to take a peek. I was so captivated that I knew I had to mount him even if it took me 5 hours. Pictures didnt do justice to the beauty. It was truly love at first sight.

Wayna Piccu wrapped in cloud blanket

The road starts out with a descent or a calm before the storm, then and ascent into the clouds.  The cloud was so thick that I could only see a few feet in front of me and as I looked over the cliffs all I could see was a sea of white (clouds) instead of the steep drop offs that I saw in pictures. It was as if the Mountain was telling me to not be afraid and to keep coming.

Blanket of clouds made the ascent less scary

As we continued up, the path became narrower and narrower and the steps became higher and smaller. I guess the Inkas had tinier  feet than my size 11. We climbed and rested and climbed and rested. We finally reached the “Stairs of Death”. I looked up at the never ending steep rugged steps and felt the way Jack felt in the story of Jack and the beanstalk and thought I neither want to climb nor descend those. My legs hurt, my head throbbed, I was dizzy, my friend even suggested turning back but somehow the mountain kept pulling me up.

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Stairs of death

death-stairs

 

I wondered if the clouds would clear. I figured I would be annoyed to climb all this way and not experience the breathtaking views. We continued to climb until we reached the first terrace. We sat to take a break and then the clouds suddenly cleared. It was as if the mountain threw off its blanket and said to me “Hello”.  I saw the most amazing views. The hairpin road from Aguas Calientes, the Urubamba river lazily coursing its way through the valleys and numerous other mountain peaks, each more magnificient, each competing to be more spectacular. I also saw Machu Piccu, the beautiful city, so remote that the Spaniards didnt get to destroy it. Machu Piccu is so well built that 700 years later, the structures are still intact and the water collection system still functions.

20160905_093133Beautiful peaksMachu Piccu20160905_125952

The structure on top of Huayna Piccu was amazing. 700 years and still standing but what impressed me the most is how the Incas were able to build with such precision on the side of a mountain with such steep drops. How did they move the heavy rocks in place with medieval tools? The Incas were simply brilliant.

Shortcut Walking along this edge20160905_08443220160905_084614

Somehow the sun bursting through the clouds gave me the energy I needed to climb to the top of my love. The path included walking on a narrow cliff, crawling  though a tiny hole and finally mounting a rock where 1 wrong move would lead to certain death.

Choke point to top

Choke point to top

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But oh, getting to the glorious top was a totally Orgasmic experience. Thank you my love!!

 

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Until next time

Jamaicangirl 🙂

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