Archaeological site on the Inca Trail
Cusco Region, Peru - January 4, 2016
Photo by Me
I am choosing to post it, instead of the others she mentioned, because it symbolizes a rare 'once in a lifetime' moment for me. I am having a hard time thinking of another time that I ever thought to myself, "This is it. I am never going to see/do this again."
The 'again sometime' attitude for travel means that I never feel rushed or pressured to see everything because I plan to be back in the future. Even when I was on the Trans-Siberian Express, I was thinking to myself that I would do that train ride again. I still hope that I get to go and see everything in reverse, in the winter.
However, I am not going to do the Inca Trail again. I want to return to Peru, I want to see Machu Picchu again when I am not tired, and I would even enjoy doing more trekking. But this specific 4-day hike was really a one time thing. (An amazing, incredible, absolutely thrilling one time thing that I am so happy to have experienced.)
So, we saw this site on the third day of the trek, which was the best day. The photo is taken after climbing over Runkuracay Pass, the second, and last, major mountain on the hike. We had slept the night before at 3,350m elevation, only to wake up and climb to 3,975m to get over the final huge mountain pass. The ruins are around 300m in elevation below me, and about 2km hiking away.
The thing is, to visit them, you need to walk up 100 steps through its only entrance to explore and then walk back down the same way. So, at the point in time when I am taking this photo I was seriously considering not bothering making the climb to see it and just stay resting on the trail below.
However, I didn't want to miss out, so by the time I hiked there, I had made the decision that I would climb up. In fact I counted 98 steps up and 97 steps down so it really depends on what rocks you consider steps to get a count of 100. You can see the stairs against the cliff below the left side of the ruins in the picture. The hike was once in a lifetime, I tried to experience it all to the fullest.