Saturday, January 14, 2012

Machu Picchu

Well, I finally made it to Machu Picchu.  In Puno we are really only 7 hours from Cusco, Peru where all tourists go to hop on a train to the famous wonder of the world, Machu Picchu.  So thanks to some financial help from my parents and some friends, I was able to make the trek up North, but down in elevation, to Cusco.  We spent some time in Cusco, wandering around the plaza, drinking Starbucks and eating McDonald’s, luxuries at least 6 hours from home in Puno. 

But of course, the most important part of the trip was going to Machu Picchu!  We left the 40/40 house where we stayed at 6:15 in the morning on Tuesday.  Chad, Amanda, Chad’s parents Loren & Vicki, Trevor, Garren and myself had a private car (set up by the tour agency) take us all from the city out to a town called Ollantaytambo, about two hours away.  The entire drive is gorgeous!  It’s all farmland, rolling hills, snowcapped mountains and adorable adobe houses. Despite being tired, that will be one of the most memorable rides of my life.  Then we got to Ollantaytambo, used the outhouses, plastic ones like in the states, not three pieces of sheet metal and a potato sack like in the country, then boarded the train.  The train ride is another two hours or so but it is quite comfortable and again, the views were amazing.  Now that we were getting closer to Machu Picchu, the vegetation began to change, it became more tropical and jungle like.  I personally had no idea, but Machu Picchu is what would be considered, high jungle, or what our guide called it, cloud jungle.  The next leg of the trip started when we arrived by train in Aguas Calientes.  This little town was my favorite, its quaint and surrounded by mountains.  Although different from the good ol’ Rocky Mountains, something about a little town surrounded by mountains makes me feel at home.  From there we took a bus up the switchbacks of the mountain and arrived at the gate, finally, it was probably about 11:30 am at this point.

We were there!  We met up with our guide, walked up a little trail, and finally got our first view of the infamous Machu Picchu!  The weather was great, warm and humid but not hot.  The clouds and saturation of rain from the morning made perfect conditions for picture taking.  And I was there with the people I love, the people who understand me and what I see and go through on a daily basis, the people with whom I’ve been able to bond over laughs and tears, the people who understand how cool it was to finally see this place after living her for over a year and a half.  Chad, Amanda, Trevor and Garren, I love you guys and I’m so blessed to have experienced Machu Picchu with you!

So…..are you ready for some pictures?!  I think so!!!
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  1. Beautiful words and pictures Kristen. What an opportunity! I can hear it in the things you say, see it in your face, that God is changing you and making you into His image. I'm proud of you! Ronda Knuth

  2. Beautiful Kristen - the pictures, your words . . . He's making you into His image. I'm proud of you. What a great opportunity!!
    Ronda Knuth