Travel Challenge – The Results, Day Six

You kindly followed me through ten days of travel pictures, guessing where each one might be. I thought I’d put you out of your collective miseries/make you punch the air with a ‘Yes, I was right’ with a follow up.

Day Six was

The extraordinary Manchu Pichu in Peru.

That takes me back a ways. 1987, to be precise.

This post was from 2017. That long ago?

Hunting The Inca: Part 5

In October 1987, the Textiliste and I holidayed in Peru. It was eye opening, extraordinary and full of the usual daft moments that follow me when I go away. Last time out, here, we were in Cusco, before travelling by train to Manchu Pichu. This time we are at last underway to that extraordinary place that appeared out of nowhere in the early twentieth century. Happily the altitude sickness had mostly gone so I was in pretty good shape to experience whatever this place had to offer.

Because the Inca trail had in part collapsed we caught a train. No one told us anything about it so when the train stopped on its slow ascent and began to reverse we assumed a mechanical problem necessitating a return to Cusco. Disappointment was the overriding emotion, replaced ten minutes later by exhilaration as we stopped again and began to head towards our destination. Another ten minutes and we were reversing, followed by yet another change.

Finally it dawned on us that we had been climbing throughout these manoeuvres. It was a pushmepullyou train; to circumvent the mountain the engineers decided a long slow gradient wouldn’t cut it so we simply zigzagged up to the pass and then gradually descended to our destination. Is that safe? Sensible? Innovative? Who the heck knows? It got us there.

But ‘there’ was a drab little terminus with all the character of a delivery yard at a junk shop. Another disappointment as I had assumed we would see the wondrous place of which we had heard on our way in. Anyway we were pointed up a sloping path and set off, carrying our bag for an overnight stay. We would see it now.

Nope, just a flat two story building and a milling crowd. Oh and the odd ubiquitous llama of course.

We went to bed, hoping for a sunny day and a better view.

The advantage we had, staying overnight was we were the first ones up and at the entrance.

We walked around the side of a mountain and there, nestling down below was the town with the utterly stunning, unfeasibly beautiful and wonderfully eccentric sugar-loaf mountain behind. It is all and more it is cracked up to be.

A guide took us round and explained how life worked, the kitchens and toilets, the sacrificial altar and the defences.

But in some ways the functionality of it all was irrelevant.

It was the imagination of the builders to use this topography to create their home that has stayed in my mind ever since.

Being puppies we climbed the sugar-loaf and between wafts of mist we captured other pictures. The climb was awkward, if I remember. Uneven stones like giant’s stairs meant we sometimes had to pull ourselves up. But we were all exhilarated but the place, its magical qualities.

Later we went for a walk back along the Inca trail, looking for the falls.

But soon we came to a wooden bridge which looked terrifying; nope, we’d go back and just absorb the continuous beauty of the place.

Too soon we headed back to pick up our bags and return to Cusco. One more night and a flight to Lima. From there we had an eccentric day to kill before setting off for the jungle. That’s for next time.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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17 Responses to Travel Challenge – The Results, Day Six

  1. willowdot21 says:

    A stunning place šŸ’œ

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Erika says:

    You have seen so much of this planet! Wonderful! Thank you for taking us along.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Sue Vincent says:

    One of the places I alway s intended to visit.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. V.M.Sang says:

    I read a lot about the Incas and other South American civilisations in my youth, but never managed to get there. Thank you for taking me there with your pictures.
    And that track over the wooden bridge! I don’t blame you for turning back, even in the perceived immortality of youth!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Stunning photos. I’m envious. A place that has been on my list for a long time…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Stunning! Has been on my list for a very long time. I think I still have a guidebook to Peru dated around 2000 when we almost went but changed our minds.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A lovely post with a most poetic description of the sugar loaf

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pam Lazos says:

    Beautiful — and on my bucket list!

    Liked by 1 person

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