Salkantay and Machu Picchu
Back in November, Lena and I walked the Salkantay Trek from Mollepata to Machu Picchu- The combination of these two experiences for me were definitely highlights of the entire Peru trip. Salkantay brought us far off the beaten tourist track into pristine Peruvian Andean highland terrain, far from even the smallest villages. Upon arriving at the pass, I was disappointed to find that the clouds had all but covered the mountains, but I was able to catch a beautiful moment with a lone hiker standing there, dwarfed by the mountain, just as the clouds opened for a few moments… A few minutes later, the clouds has closed in again and we heard the long rolling of an avalanche from somewhere up in the peaks.
Of course the long pilgrimage to Machu Picchu was something I had looked forward to since I was quite young- It was in my mind some kind of a mythical place from my child’s memory that I had waited so long to see for myself, that I was almost sure I would find myself disappointed. Still, arriving before dawn on a foggy morning high in the lush Cordillera Vilcabamba to find the ruins revealed before you is something that even a childhood memory can not match. There really was a bit of a magical feeling standing there hidden in the fog, watching the distant terraces being revealed over and over again.