Since I was in High School and first learned about Machu Picchu, from my Spanish teacher, I’ve wanted to go to Peru. She was Peruvian and had shared with us about her people, culture, and history. Being raised in a proud Mexican-American family, I was fascinated with this other group of Latino history. Life went on… but I always thought about Peru, and especially Machu Picchu. I figured it was one of those places that I put on my bucket list and go to before I die. Whenever someone asked, where do you want to go? I would always without hesitation answer Machu Picchu.
Imagine my surprise when it became a reality before I was ready to visit the Almighty. We originally had planned on going to Germany for Oktoberfest in Sept 2015. We landed up buying a house and had to cancel that trip. Then, our very good friend told us she was going to Peru for Thanksgiving in November. That’s when we invited ourselves on her trip home. We had to jump on the opportunity to experience Peru. I have to admit, other than our wedding, there was never a trip I was most anticipating in my life.
We landed in Lima on Friday. We flew to Cusco on Monday. I took the pills to help me acclimate to the altitude, which I highly recommend. We also drank plenty of Coco de Mate, which helped me immensely. We took the 2nd train to Machu Picchu on Tuesday morning. It was a 3hr, slow train ride to Aguas Caliente.
Aguas Caliente is the town directly below Machu Picchu. After getting to Aguas Caliente, we had to buy bus tickets to get up to Machu Picchu. Then, we had to go to the Tourism office for our admittance tickets to Machu Picchu. Yes, it would be easier if it was in the same place, but it’s not. They only accept cash, which is also important to know, as my husband had to find a cash machine when we found out they don’t accept credit cards of any sort.
After that experience, we had to wait in line for the bus. There is only one station for this. The winding bus ride up the mountain is about 25 minutes. Everyone is excited and scared to death going up this narrow and steep mountain. It’s even scarier going back down.
I think I prayed the whole way down the mountain. Alas, we arrived at the entry of Machu Picchu, and we didn’t see anything initially. They have a station where we could stamp our passports with a stamp of Machu Picchu, which has become my favorite stamp on my passport to date. We were approached by several tour guides. We found one that spoke in English, as we were with a non-Spanish speaking friend. He was an accredited tour guide, knowledgeable, patient, and knew where to take all the best pictures. He was well worth what we paid him. I felt he enhanced our experience because he was able to walk us through and explain everything to us about the history and the Inca Empire.
Machu Picchu is truly magnificent. There are really no words that could accurately describe it’s majesty. It has breathtaking views in whatever direction we looked.
I’m truly thankful my husband and I experienced this once in a lifetime experience together. It taught me, it’s never too early to pursue my dreams. Life is short. Life is unpredictable. It was not only an adventure of a lifetime but a spiritual awakening in knowing anything is possible. I felt on top of the world at Sun Gate. Now, excuse me, while I go update my bucket list and proudly scratch off my number 1. Mission accomplished.
I’m living proof that dreams do come true!