Previous Day

March 28, 1998

Machu Pichu is spectacular. It is the most scenic, deserted city I have ever seen (nobody lives in the city anymore). I rode a 3 hour train from Cuzco that winds through a beautiful river valley. First along the ride I saw small peasant villages and hamlets, overshadowed by tall mountains in the distance. The train traveled through the mountain range on tracks by a river. Machu Pichu rewards visitors with an incredible view. The city sits atop a mountain that rises steeply from the ground next to the river. People can hike to the top, but I rode a bus which winds its way up a dangerous looking road. Once in the city, there is a temple which must have been the most important structure in the city. The temple overlooks one of the mountain peaks, and by standing on its floor next to a sun dial, I saw the entire mountain valley. Breathtaking. Everywhere an interesting structure or mountain view presented itself. Machu Pichu was not built on the tallest mountain, so massive mountains rise above the buildings. The Incas built the city by fitting giant granite boulders together with such precision that mortar was not needed. Since boulders used in the construction are not of uniform shape, walls look like giant jigsaw puzzles.
(Left) Train ride to Machu Pichu (Right) Overlooking Machu Pichu
Machu Pichu, not a big party scene...