Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A City Upon a Hill: travelogue about the fascinating Machu Picchu, Peru

A City Upon a Hill - Ujol Sherchan and Tek Jung Mahat

- Date visited: 5 June 2009
- This article was published on the occasion of International Mountain Day (IMD), 11 December 2009

DEC 12 - After a tour of the Sacred Valley of the Incas in Peru, friend Tek and I left Ollantataymbo for Aguas Calientes, the closest access point to Machu Picchu, on the last backpackers’ train of the day. As the box car rushed headlong into the night alongside the Urubamba river, headwater of the Amazon river basin, the young American and his fiancée seated opposite us recounted their three-month whirlwind tour through parts of Central and South America. It was interesting to hear of their many expectations of Machu Picchu: how they wished it would turn out to be the icing on the cake, a great finale, a revelation, something that would bring it all back home for them.

A nice view of Machu Picchu/Photo: Tek Jung Mahat

Early next morning, before the crowing of the rooster, we set out on foot from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu through a high jungle, chewing coca leaves for that extra boost of energy to see us up the trail to our destination. Two hours later, we found ourselves standing in front of Machu Picchu—the famed lost city of the Incas—nestled on a saddle with Mount Huayna Picchu looming in the background. In 1630, when a certain group of Puritans set sail for the New World on board the Arbella determined to ‘be as a city upon a hill’, little did they know that the Incas had bettered them two centuries earlier!

Citation: Sherchan, U. and Mahat, T. J. (12 December 2009) “A city upon a hill: travelogue about the fascinating Machu Picchu, Peru” in the Kathmandu Post, Kantipur Publications Pvt. Ltd., Kathmandu, NEPAL. Available at http://www.ekantipur.com/2009/12/12/Features/A-City-Upon-a-Hill/304326/ .

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