Ever regret saying you're listening to your other half when you really weren't? Case in point- I said 'sure' and 'yes' a few months back when Cathy booked us on a hike up Huayna Picchu, the towering mountain behind the actual site of Machu Picchu. I regretted that moment today!
Let me show you a picture-
If you enlarge the photo at the top where there are specks, you'll actually see stupid human beings like us who hiked up this relentless cliff! From a distance the mountain looks impossible to climb- at times I thought we'd have to go back without finishing the climb. It's an unbelievable strenuous climb with some parts where you actually use both hands and feet in climbing up.
The Inca literally cut out some steps out of the rocks as you wind around the mountain. Some structures seem almost glued to the mountain side with a sheer drop of a couple of hundred meters on the other side.
For many people climbing Huayna Picchu IT is one of the highlights when visiting Machu Picchu. For me, I call it survival and an absolute miracle that we did it!
Why this walkway? Back in the 1500s, the story goes that the top of the mountain was the residence for the high priest and the local virgins. Every morning before sunrise, the high priest with a small group would walk to Machu Picchu to signal the coming of the new day. I think this whole thing is 'wacko' beyond belief and if I didn't actually do the climb with the other 199 idiots (Cathy would call then adventurers) this morning starting at 5:30 a.m. I'd say these Incas were all smoking some really good dope building a stairway to heaven!
However, the views of Machu Picchu seen from the Huayna Picchu top are breathtaking and do really give you an impression of the magnitude of the site.