Friday, February 20, 2009

Machu Picchu 3

There is a mountain in the ruins called Wana Picchu which they only let the first 400 people climb every day. In the high season, people are lined up at 3:30 in the morning to get let in at 6am and RUN to get in line to climb. Phooey on that. Good thing it isn´t the high season. We wandered over around 8:30 and were numbers 42 and 43. We weren´t sure we wanted to climb it, but we thought what the heck, we´ll just see and we´ll turn around if and when we want to. Once inside, you can take the short route to Huchuypicchu which is a smaller mountain, or the longer route to Wanapicchu which is the more famous. So we thought to go the short route. Perfect. Shorter does not equal easier! The photo on the left is a picture of the stairs we were climbing with the drop off to the right. Raquel has vertigo and was super super scared, but we did it and made it back down and everything. It was super foggy when we were up there and we didn´t get many photos. So when we got back to the sign, we thought we would go the long route to Wanapicchu cause there is no way it could be harder or scarier than what we had just done.

Here is a photo from the top of Huchuypicchu that I love. It was really super mystical like this all morning. Felt very Lord of the Rings.

So we started up Wanapicchu. Or more accurately, started down. It is one of those hikes where you have to hike to the bottom of one mountain in order to climb the other one. When you know it is going to kick your ass on the way back, right?

Here is Raquel starting up Wanapichhu. The stairs are killers but not too bad at this point. Still not sure if we want to climb this, but knowing we can turn around at any point. I was especially unsure, feeling out of shape and being a smoker, but I decided to give it a try. Also it was foggy and we couldn´t tell how far we had to go.

I stopped and rested a lot which gave me the chance to take lots of photos.

As you climb, the stairs become less like stairs and more like mountian climbing. And they just keep going. But eventually you reach a point where you have gone too far to turn back and the top must be close now, right? It was definitely super hard, and I stopped to rest and breathe a lot because you are also at very high altitude so in addition to breathing heavy from hiking, there isn´t as much oxygen in the air. But I did not cry or despair like I have done on hard hikes before, I just kept going. It was hard, but it wasn´t that hard, you know? But, it was fucking hard.

In Spanish, it was a Puta Madre. In English, a Mother Fucker. If you´re Dave Clarke, it was a Fuck whore.

But, everyone thought that. No one thinks it is easy or reasonable, so I had a lot of company.

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