Saturday, July 10, 2010

Sacred Waynapicchu Mountain ... challenging, dangerious, awesome!

That my friends, is Waynapicchu!  Roughly 8000 feet to the top!  Thousands visit Machuu Picchu everyday, but only a lucky 400 get the chance to climb to the top of Waynapicchu!  I was up early on the morning of the 4th of July.... so I could stand in line on that cold Peruvian morning to see if I would be lucky enough to get a ticket.  I did!  The rest.... is as they say.... history!

Beginnings are gilled with such excitement, such energy, such enthusiasm... we begin one step at a time, and in this case, not knowing just how many steps make 8000 feet nearly straight up!

First I had to walk down, down, down from the city of Machuu Picchu, into a valley to begin my climb up Waynapicchu.

I was part of the 10 a.m. group of climbers ..... two other groups, one at 7 a.m. and another about 8:30 a.m.... so in the process I met people going up and coming down.  I was not the fast, nor the slowest .... sort of like the turtle... just plodding along... with lots of stops to catch my breath!

The views were spectacular.... once I was able to let go of my grip of the mountain and turn around to look out at the valley below.....

There were many times I almost did not continue up the mountain.... like this time ..... notice the rocks in ghe foreground  that form the path?  There was no guardrail, absolutely nothing to hold onto, or to grab onto should I have slipped ..... down, down, down I would have fallen, thousands of feet into the valley below.  The whole path had many, many extremely dangerous spots where the path was very narrow and the drop off ....... enormous...

More steps.... more climbers.... I met a French couple as I was climbing up ... they on their way down.... the man said to me Ï´m the oldest person climbing Waynapicchu today!  How old are you?¨ When I told him I was 61, he was chest fallen!  He was only 58!  When one goes through the entry gate to Waynapicchu, you must sign in... name, nationality, time you are staring the climb..... and.... your age!

This little jaunt scared the day lights out of me.  That´s the path!  The huge rock, at that angle, drops off into, well nothing..... nothing but the valley thousands of feet below!  That´s the path to follow..... I almost did not make it.....

Just when I thought there could not possibly be anymore steps.... I would make a turn on the long switch back path, only to find..... more steps!

To get to these top rocks, I had to slither through two rock caves.  I was on all fours, my hat bending to get through.... the second tunnerl opened up to a wooden ladder that brought me to the top rocks... where those young people are standing.  Look at the slant of those rocks!  Coming out of the tunnel, into the vast sky overhead, and for me to see rocks slanting in directions that only had me thinking of falling off the very top of the mountain...... had me crawling on all fours (I didn´t care what anyone thought of me at that time) to the nearest level spot I could find!

Okay... once I found my land legs, and shook off the massive waves of vertigo that washed over me.... I could look out at the impressive views.  That´s the Lost City of the Inca, Machuu Picchu I´m point at..... from high on top of Waynapicchu!

See... I really did make it to the top!  Here´s the proof!

What goes up..... must come down!  Not more steps!  Where´s the elevator?????  I signed out of Waynapicchu at 12:40 p.m.  Little over two hours climbing up and down the mountain.

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