Atop the Great Machu Picchu

On June 23, 2013, in 2013, by Leslie Hanson

Gigantic. Glorious. Astounding. Amazing. Unprecedented. Worldly. Stunning. Beautiful. All these words have been used to describe Machu Picchu but they cannot give you the vivid imagery of how phenomenal the experience is. As we started the journey to Machu Picchu it began with a long bus ride, then a train ride followed by another bus ride to the legend itself Machu Picchu. As we arrived at Machu Picchu the first thoughts that entered my mind was, “WOW! Look at those ruins.” The altitude at Machu Picchu was not that big of a hassle because we were able to accommodate ourselves in Cuzco which is 3,182 feet higher in altitude at 11,152 feet. We had a tour guide that explained his theory about how the Incas were not the builders of Machu Picchu but instead the Andeans in the 15th century. One of the most interesting things about Machu Picchu that I learned through our tour is that Hiram Bingham uncovered a treasure trove of artefacts that he took with him to Yale University, including mummies, bones, ceramics and precious metals. Eventually the Peruvian government petitioned the university for their repatriation and in 2008 revised the estimated number of pieces from 4,000 to over 40,000. In general, Machu Picchu was an amazing site to see and I can definitely see myself returning to the beautiful site in the near future.

By: Nick Naydenov

Driving fast up a winding road, I caught my first glance through the thick canopy. All of the anticipation on this trip has finally come to a peak. I looked out the large bus windows at the surrounding mountains, the Urubamba River, and the thick foliage. We broke through the barrier of trees and there it rested in all its glory, Machu Picchu. We began our ascent up a steep path, breathing heavy from the thin air and high altitude. Finally, we came to a landing overlooking the ruins. My jaw dropped and my heart skipped a beat. All that I could do was whisper “oh my god.” It was so stunning it’s difficult to put into words. In pictures, you often see the same image, the ruins with Huayna Picchu in the back. However, there are so many more beautiful angles and the rest of the Urubamba Valley is absolutely gorgeous. Ancient Andean peoples were truly amazing. To construct such beautiful buildings in such a beautiful location is very admirable and fascinating. After we finished our informative tour, we began our decent back down the mountain. We left Machu Picchu on its peak atop of the world, waiting for our return in all its perfection.

By: Ian Hart

I have to say our little trip to Machu Picchu was quite the adventure! We awoke at 2:45 a.m. to the always in tune sound of Sr. Cordova running up and down our corridors making various bird calls. Normally waking up so early would probably give me a headache, but I couldn’t help but be energetic about how we were about to visit one of the most beautiful and relatively mysterious man made wonders of the world. We quickly made our way onto the first bus, and immediately departed for the train that would get us to the base of the mountain. Everything was going smoothly… until the food poisoning kicked in.

When we hopped off the bus and waited for the train, I felt like someone had filled a pillowcase full of heavy books and decided to repeatedly beat me in the abdominal region. However, nothing would stop me from in enjoying this day! The train ride went relatively smoothly, and the beautiful scenery took my mind off of the upset stomach. For the first time in my life I was witnessing an actual rain forest. The vegetation was unimaginably thick, and there were many unique plants growing on the outskirts of the trees. Before I knew it, we had finally arrived to the base of our destination.

Shortly after getting off the train ride, we hopped on the bus that would drive us to Machu Picchu.  The majority of the bus ride was similar to what we had seen on train ride over; lots of plants, and lots of green. The ride up was pretty intense, for the road was full of bends and blind spots that left me slightly nervous. However, after about 15 minutes, we finally turned a corner that would give us a glimpse of what we came for.

The rest of my group has already captured with perfect detail what Machu Picchu looked and felt like. All I can say in addition to their descriptions is that I had trouble thinking of any other point in my life where I had been in such awe. The architecture, the perfect weather, and the perfect view were some of the most amazing things I have ever seen. I can’t say I’ve ever felt so perfectly in the moment, or that the entire presence of an ancient civilization felt so personal. Now as I’m writing this I’m sitting in my group’s room back at our hotel. Tonight is our last night here, and I have to admit, this makes me feel rather nostalgic. This trip with my fellow Broncos was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve had in life, and it’s a bit sad to see it ending. But almost as quickly as it came this trickle of sadness disappeared, and I can say with the utmost certainty that I will one day return to this beautiful country and remember with clarity all the wonderful things we did here. I’m pretty tired and still have food poisoning, so I’m going to try and sleep. Thanks for reading all our tales, and we’ll see you soon.


Maxx Schlabach


2 Responses to Atop the Great Machu Picchu

  1. Blair Cook says:

    It sounds like you all have had an amazing and life changing 3 weeks living and working with the Peruvian people. I both admire you for the good work you have done and am totally jealous of the experiences you have had. I hope to follow in your footsteps myself one day.

    Safe travels home and I’d love to hear all the gritty details when you’re back.

    Mr. Cook

  2. tia moni and eddie says:

    Great blogging guys! We really appreciate all you were able to show us with your beautiful descriptions…thank you for sharing from the heart!

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