Day 189: Cuzco to Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu is a world of dizzying verticals. Stone-built agricultural terraces and the skeletal walls of temples and houses cling to a narrow promontory around which the Urubamba River makes a tight loop, a thousand feet below. The sheer ridge of Cerro St Miguel looms to the east and the tree clad crag of Huayna Picchu - 'Young Peak'- is a towering sentinel at the north-west corner of the site. Many miles beyond, a great multitude of snow-clad summits circles the horizon.
The only intimation of a world outside is the presence, over distant peaks to the north-east, of trailing white cloud rising from the Amazon rain forest. I'm told that they call this land of green gorges, halfway between high dry altiplano and tropical rain forest, 'the eyebrow of the jungle'.
There is not much light left and by the time I am back in my room at the hotel the huge view has shrunk to silhouette. Swallows dart in and out of the eaves. The temperature plummets as the sun disappears. Open the window and peer out. If ever there were a place for peace and contemplation this, surely, is it.
Then the strains of the all-too-familiar music rise from the bar below. Night falls over Machu Picchu to the sound of Abba's 'Dancing Queen'.
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- Series: Full Circle
- Day: 189
- Country/sea: Peru
- Place: Machu Picchu
- Book page no: 255
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- Day 2
- Around the World in 80 Days
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