I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Saturday, July 1, 2023

And there it is

The day before, when I'd been lying on a bed in a clinic in the Sacred Valley sucking on oxygen, I'd been resigned to missing Machu Picchu. I hated to come so far and not see the main attraction, but I didn't see how I could keep going.

So I was thrilled to be there. I made it! I was actually at Machu Picchu!

And unfortunately I wasn't well. It wasn't the altitude that bothered me, but my digestive system that distressingly picked That Particular Moment to act up. After taking the bus up to the ruins, we had lunch in the restaurant outside the gates. After lunch, I was setting up my walking poles and slathering on insect repellant—Machu Picchu is jungle after all—when I suddenly had to run to the bathroom. Urgently. And a few minutes later, when we had just started climbing, I had to leave and go again.

I was okay after that, but as there are no bathrooms at the site I didn't want to take any chances, and so while the rest of my group did the long circuit including the top levels, I stayed below, closer to the exit. I was a little disappointed not to get the “classic picture” looking down on the site, but in some ways, I lucked out. When I described how I'd found being there an almost spiritual experience, others in the group commented on not having time to really take in the views because they had to watch where they were walking, and that it was crowded and noisy. Whereas I was mostly alone, except for a few llamas, and I got to spend time sitting on a bench and looking at this view.

1 comment:

Anne said...

Travel experiences are often diminished by too much movement. I'm glad you had time to sit and contemplate this incredible site.

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