There was some doubt we would be able to visit the site because a labor dispute over the buses that transport visitors to the entrance was raging in Aguas Caliente. Somehow we were a part of three buses that made their way up the many switch backs on the road to Machu Picchu in the afternoon. We quickly forgot about the real world angst and prepared for our entry into the sanctuary. It is impossible to sum up all of the sights, feelings and thoughts that comprise the impact of the visit in a short review. It is an experience that fosters awe and tranquility, humour and reverance. From the tiny details to the incredible magnitude of the construction, it satisfies any bucket list requirements. I'm certain we will reflect on this experience often.
Once we left the site, it was back to the transportation dilemma of no buses. As we pondered beginning our trek down the mountain, another option presented itself. A large construction truck with long benches on each side of the bed of the truck and a tarp covering a steel frame was being loaded with passengers to drive down the mountain. We hopped in. It was a questionable decision that ignored the lack of safety standards as approximately 70-80 people were crammed in to the back, many standing, to race down the mountain and the many switchback corners to the starting point in Aguas Caliente. Whew, we made it and it is a story to tell but also a caution to future travellers.
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