It just occurred to me the other day that I never actually wrote about the trip to Machu Picchu in December, the grand finale of the Peru semester abroad!!! So here it is, in all it’s totally-deserving-all-the-hype glory.
The following pictures are from beautiful Cusco, where we learned to make pottery, learned about the influence of Catholicism in the ancient city, walked along the pre-colonial Inca walls of the city, visited ruins, and wandered in no particular direction.
On the way to Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu, we stopped in various places in the Sacred Valley, like the salt mines at Maras. We spent half the day at the Amaru community to learn about how they cook, make textiles, farm, and live in harmony with the land. We stopped to experience the architecturally stunning ruins at Ollantaytambo and Moray, and then took a train for the final stretch.
The train to Machu Picchu brought us to another world completely. Where before you were in drier, higher altitude Cusco and the Sacred Valley, replete with mountains and stretches of land that allow you to be able to see around for miles… all of a sudden when you finally get to Aguas Calientes, you’ve descended in altitude and it feels like you’re in the jungle. But you’re also surrounded in every direction by the steepest, skyscraper-competing mountains you could ever imagine. This simple amazement was one of my favorite parts of the trip.
And then there’s Machu Picchu and I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
I must thank Bioribel Castillo, Mattie Carroll, Tesa Danusantoso, Katherine Lenahan, Bear Brink, Maria Claudia Schubert-Fontes, and Katie Anne Hayes for amazing photographer skills and for an overall incomparable semester.