In case there was any question (and to ensure more snakes in my condo when I get home), here's proof to Markus and Mateo that I was really there. A careful check will reveal no Photoshop'ing ;-)
I'm guessing the only way to see Machu Picchu for the first time is at the crack of dawn. We arrived at 6am when the city opened to find ourselves in the clouds. For several hours the clouds and rain would come and go, teasing us with one quick glimpse after another of an amazing view from the watchtower.
When it started to look as though things would clear off a bit, we started the short, but very steep hike to Waynapicchu, the mountain overlooking the city.
We waited quite a while until little by little the sky began to completely open up and for the first time in a few weeks, a tanktop was enough in the warm sun.
We came down all sweaty to explore the city a bit more now that the sun was out and we could see it in all its glory. Plus, Wasabi wanted some pictures for his blog ;-)
There were heaps more people by afternoon. I can't even imagine what this place is like in high season. The colorful rain ponchos tend to ruin most of the pictures, but I thought this one was cool.
Even aside from the city itself, the view from up there is amazing in all directions. The individual, freestanding mountains remind me so much of Rio de Janeiro. Here is the steep unpaved road the busses traverse to bring up the tourists and at the bottom next to the river you can see the train which is the only access to the village of Aguas Calientes (the starting point).
Me, very happy to see something I've dreamed of since I was a child!
Finally, we had to say goodbye :-(