The rain has stopped by the time Lucho rounds us all up to catch the bus up to Machu Picchu, but the sky is remains dark and the air still wet with moisture.
For those not hiking the Inca Trail, the trip to Machu Picchu generally involves a bus trip up a road with 13 switchbacks. If you are lucky enough to get a window, it is possible to look straight down to the river valley far, far below without being able to see the road between you and the river.
Once through the entrance gate, I walk only a short distance before the partially restored ruins surround me. The immensity of the place is overwhelming, yet at the same time it feels like being on a tiny island suspended between the misty river valley far below and the mountain tops that disappear into the clouds above. It is a mystical, magical place, yet the rocks around me are large, solid, and very real.
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