Three Years Later

I thought today, in honor of my birthday, I would post a copy of what I posted three years ago on this very same day.

Quarter of a century huh??? Well that seems like quite a lot, but I think that there is quite a bit left to do, so I´m trying to stay out of the habbit of getting in a hurry.  Life is quick, so why rush things?

Today has been quite a day.  Actually the last two days have been go go go.  Yesterday morning I hoped on a our bus, and visited the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the Pisac ruins and Ollantaytambo ruins.  They were both quite amazing, with feats that would be amazing by todays standards of construction.  Then because of all the rain damage, the Ollantaytambo railway has been temporarily shut down, so we took a bus to another station, got the train, and arrived in Aguas Calientes around 9:30 last night.
This morning started with a one hour, 300 meter vertical climb to the gates at Machu Picchu; leaving at 4:30 a.m.  Was it worth it to see the sunrise over the mountains?  Yep.
So I think I´ve figured out the amount of vertical travel today. 1400 meters, or right around 4600 ft. We (Nick and Nicki from London) climbed Waynapicchu, then back down to the ruins, then Nick and I climbed Machu Picchu mountain. Both produced some amazing views of the ruins.  Then of course back down to the bottom, and back into town.  All in all, 4:30 am start, returning to the city around 6:00 pm.  But what an amazing place to be on my birthday.
 Sunrise, 5:30am, on my way up to Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu - May 16, 2010 (Birthday on the mountain!)
New friends, Nick and Nicki (from London), whom I spent most of the day with.  We´re on our way up Waynapicchu in this picture (300 meters above MP), and some random lady was handing out these awesome paper visors.   Nick is a photographer, also, so Nicki had double the waiting for us to finish shooting.  Only 400 people are allowed to climb Waynapicchu each day, and what amazing views it gave of the ruins.
Machu Picchu - May 16, 2010 (Birthday on the mountain!)
After getting a tip from my tour guide, I had my heart set on climbing Machu Picchu Mountian, the big one that most people don´t climb.  On the day we were there, only about 40 other people that came to MP even attempted this one. The small looking mountain you can see close to the ruins was Waynapicchu, which we had climbed earlier.
Machu Picchu - May 16, 2010 (Birthday on the mountain!)
 Back down from MP mountain, with the sun setting in the west, it´s been a good day.
Last picture of the day, as we´re getting asked to leave the ruins because they are closing.  Nick and I needed to show where we had climbed.  Yep, the big one, waaaaay up there, around 500 meters above where we are standing in this photo.

Machu Picchu - May 16, 2010 (Birthday on the mountain!)