Climbing Huayna Picchu in Peru

This is the second to last day of our trip. This morning, we had the option to climb Huayna Picchu, the Sun Gate, or do one of the resort (Inkaterra)’s excursions. My dad and I opted to hike Huayna Picchu, with Maya, of course. However, we got separated and we arrived to the peak later than them, because of our late start. The trail was well managed with steel ropes that you can hang onto when you climb the steep stairs. To blend in, the steel ropes were painted a green that has started peeling off. The hike is through the rainforest. There is vegetation surrounding you completely and in between the stone steps are little plants. The hike is very steep, especially near the top. When we arrived to the peak, there were two tunnels in which you had to squeeze through. The peak yielded a gorgeous sight of Machu Picchu. Everything looked so small! When we decided to begin our descent, there was two paths. We saw one of my classmates going down the left side. Unsure of where to go, we asked a random person. He had a map and said, “Both ways lead to Machu Picchu!” So we went to the left. The descent was long, arduous, and tiring. Oh well, at least it was better than ascending. We caught up to the Foyer family. After a short while, we decided to sit on a rock, look at Machu Picchu, and eat. That was when we lost the Foyers. We got up and walked two steps when we saw it. A sheer drop 20 feet down, with the only way down being a rickety wooden ladder balanced against the cliff. I got to go first. It was pretty freaky, knowing that if I fell, I would have a broken leg and still have to hike an hour back to our rendezvous point. What would happen if we didn’t show up? All these thoughts rushed through my head. And…I dropped my jacket. Carefully descending, I tried to pick it up, but only succeeded in pushing it down lower. That’s when my dad started climbing. Uh oh. What if the ladder tipped over? One side was a drop down to the bottom of the mountain which would mean a sure death, and the other was a stone wall. I finally reached the bottom with a sigh of relief. We hiked along the winding trail, down a bunch of steps, and rested some more for another hour. Suddenly, we came upon a Incan ruin. Huh. Why was that there? I remembered our guide saying that there were watchtowers stationed all around Machu Picchu. Aha. That just be it. We continued to the very bottom of the mountain. Something wasn’t right. The river that we saw at the bottom of the Machu Picchu mountain was right in front of us. Weird. We continued along the path as it flattened out into a field and green grass and yellow and purple flowers. To the left was a huge cave. The rock was white, with a hint of yellow. It almost seemed to glow, like the moon. But the main thing was the structure inside the cave. There were the niches in which statues were put, and a sacrificial alter with perfectly carved steps leading up to it. We could’ve explored more of the cave, but we didn’t know where we were and so we headed onto the path again. Then we saw the sign. The sign that said, “Machu Picchu: I hour, 30 minutes”. I couldn’t believe that we walked a hour just to visit some cave, and now we would have to walk ninety tiring minutes, but the worst was still yet to come. We walked a little before finding that we had to go uphill! That means a few hundred more stairs. We stopped for frequent breaks and were whooping with joy when we saw the trails merge and the first sign of human life for 2 and a half hours. We asked a guide where we had went and he told us that we had gone to the moon temple.
We went back to Machu Picchu and found the Foyer family and the guides (Patty or Patricia, our main guide, and Ro, a guide just for Machu Picchu). It turned out that we (the Foyer family and us) were the only family that actually went to the moon temple. At the time, I despised having to walk so much and was so tired, but now, looking back on it, it was so much fun and I’m glad to have done that great experience! 

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