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July 03, 2005
Amy writes:

See our Machu Picchu photos.

As the sun rose and beams of light hit the mountain at Machu Picchu, we got out the camera and finally felt relaxed. A few days before, we hadn't been sure we'd make it to Peru's most famous attraction because I had been struck with a flu-like virus and lay shivering in bed. Now, there I was (with the help of two paracetamol) holding Jody's hand on the dizzying heights of the most beautiful Inca citidel in the world. And it really is...

The setting is just amazing. How they managed to create such a huge complex at the mountain is beyond me. And early in the morning, I really did get a touch of vertigo trying to take it all in. The site is vast and while the buldings are interesting, but it's the setting that gives Machu Picchu the edge.

A funny Inca-sized man (who used 'for example' at the beginning and end of every sentence) gave us a tour of the intricate ritual temples but the best bit for me was the three-and-a-half hours we spent at the viewpoint, both at sunrise and in the afternoon just staring at the beauty of it all from above.

In total, we were there eight-and-a-half hours, wandering on our own,
sitting on the terraces, climbing for more views and not a minute in the gift shop.

See our Inti Raymi photos.

The week before we'd been privy to see the traditional Inca festival of Inti Raymi, where a week of parades culminates in a huge ceremony celebrating the sun on June 24. With it being Andean winter and a few showers in the week, we'd been worried they'd have to re-name it 'Inti Rainy' but in the end the day went off without a hitch.

We'd paid out $60 each (a small fortune here) for seats to watch some hammy actors stumble through the ancient ceremony which culminated in the sacrifice of a llama. The High Priest holds up it's heart and if it's still beating, good fortune is predicted for the coming year. The verdict was delivered in Quechua so we don't have a clue what kind of year it's going to be. After it was all over, we looked underneath the stage to find the llama alive and well. It was obviously a well-trained stunt llama. God knows where they got the heart from?

Where are we? We're back in Cusco, but fly to Lima on Tuesday, where we'll catch a bus up the Northern coast to Chiclayo for more ruins. This time we-ll be poking around pre-Inca relics.

posted at 2:02 PM | link

5 Comments:

  • Just read your blog haven`t seen it for a few weeks , seems like things are still going well , photos are great . When you visit I think will we have a roast , I`m not sure what veg go best with Guinea Pig . Jill

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:22 PM  

  • Just to let you know - in case you are worried - as of 15:33 on 7/7/05, we are all ok here in london. well, obviously not all, but i can vouch for me, poon, kewal, jeanette, mel, lynn...

    things are pretty scary right now, but am hoping to get home in one piece!

    lots of love, danielle x

    By Blogger The Berg, at 2:32 PM  

  • Thanks Berg. It is a relief to know about all of you. We knew something bad had happened when we saw the word 'Londres' on Peruvian TV (obviously a rare occurance) but had to find an English channel to understand what was going on. Everyone has been on my mind all day... Amy xxx

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Jody and Amy have finished their 10 month adventure around the world, that began Nov 2, 2004, and ended Sep 2, 2005. They're back home in London now, doing normal things, like going to work and drinking tap water. You can see a map of what was their planned route, but we didn't quite follow it.
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