I managed to sleep on the last night. But I was like, “Really?” when I woke up with an ear infection. I felt like a dented cell phone with one bar despite being charged for hours. It was 4:50am. Well, only a few hours to the monkey steps (you have to climb on all fours) and on to the sun gate (where Machu Picchu is visible). We get there very, very slowly while I expel huge amounts of green phlegm. My inner Singaporean was horrified that I was spitting like a chinaman near one of the wonders of the world. I would seriously be fined millions by now.
As Machu Picchu looked closer and closer, I really did feel like we accomplished something against some nutso odds. Of course, we had more help than I can remember: Victor’s guidance, the porters’ carriage, Regina’s and Paul’s inhalers, Kavitha’s counsel, Ashish’s pep talks and everyone else’s kindness. This New Yorker was seriously verklempt beyond words.
When we actually arrived at the site, we were passing people who were arriving via trains and buses. Immediately, we could appreciate how clean they were. Our group talked about how these folks smelled nice. “Now I wonder what we smell like,” was the general consensus. I had tears at the sight of a clean toilet with a seat.
Oh yeah, Machu Picchu is beautiful and the Incas were amazing with rocks, astronomy, irrigation, crop rotation etc. So worth a visit, and next time I’ll be a “lazy”—Victor’s word for the nice-smelling tourist.