Many people go to Machu Picchu for different reasons. Some may  go for the sweeping views of mountain and old ruins, adventure, or the magic of the landscape. Others go for life long dreams or spiritual journeys leading up to this one moment of clarity and insight. A mile marker in ones life to signal something significant. Perhaps it’s the lure of the Inca, a familiarity that draws us near to something ancient and beautiful. Sometimes it’s all of the above.

It is truly an experience. For me it was all of the above. It was an accomplishment. A lifelong dream to travel the world and sail the seven seas only to find that Machu Picchu is where I wanted to go the most out of all the places on this earth. To finally get there and see the city laid out in patterns of stone with a view from a real estate standpoint that was worth billions, was indescribable. Our ancient ancestors called man was really no different than we are today.

Running water flowed effortlessly throughout the city, using gravity to pull the streams downward from the towers of mountain streams all the way to the depths below. Running water in baths and outlets used for farming. The hillside was is and will always be perfect for placing a city so strategically that even the way to sun hits the city in the morning offers to humans rituals and gratitude.  These people understood, or just didn’t complicate things much, used nature in it’s natural form as a tool to help sustain nature itself and not degenerate it. Even to this day the city of Ollantaytambo uses this method for running water.

They had temples that held some sort of significance either in location, aligning with north, south, east, and west, or a deep significance of symbolism where part of the mountain, it’s features and shape, had a story to tell. Their houses were small yet comfortable and many had gardens or a wonderful view from their windows.

Early in the morning the sun hides behind the tall black shadows of the mountain peaks of the Andes. The yellow glow inching it’s way slowly and spreading it’s wings of light perfectly and hitting directly onto the Mountain Peak leading the city to awaken, Huayna Picchu.  How they built even on this peak with the tools they had mesmerizes the 21st century brain where everything is so easy with technology. Huayna Picchu is the first to see the sun while the rest of the city sleeps. As the sun rises slowly the rest of Machu Picchu is flooded with sunlight and can now begin the day. I can only imagine that at sunset Huayna Picchu is also the last to see the sun before the city dwells in darkness.

I did not get a tour guide  because I felt that it would keep the city clouded in mystery. And possibly because I did not want to pay 60 Sols at the time. Either way the experience was just as a I knew it would be, a significant pilgrimage of the spirit rising to new heights and realizing that God is greater than all of of this beauty combined and that heaven could truly be here on earth, but that the fruit of the spirit is a more beautiful heaven than any material beauty could ever be.

As I was ascending Huayna Picchu and I stood for a moment at the top in silence these collections of reflective thought were, is, and are my most treasured. That although I appreciated this opportunity, it is truly about the process of the journey and not about the destination itself. The destination is never ending.

I end this blog post with the beginning of my trek to Machu Picchu because endings are truly beginnings and beginnings endings.

Much love and much gratitude,

-Sarah