The Final Descent

By February 23, 2011Travel Journal

The initial jolt of exhilaration was beginning to subside when we started our final descent from the Intipunku, or the Sun Gate, over the ridge and down to Machu Picchu. I suppose the tingling in my finger-tips was due to the fact that Ramiro was, once again, on-the-move and the Inca Trail had transformed into a series of steeper, downward-snaking staircases that required a certain degree of concentration. My knees quivered slightly, as I tried to slowly navigate one step at a time, blindly ensuring my foot-grip before committing my full boy weight. All of this was done while carefully trying to not fling my camera thousands of feet to the valley floor.

My mind raced because there was too much to look at. I suddenly wondered how I could be expected to process the view, capture my experiences and navigate the trail and come close to doing justice to any one of them let alone all three. I tried to equally distribute my focus while, for good measure, placing a slight emphasis on safety.

Unfortunately, the peculiar Hiram Bingham road was stealing most of my curiosity as it cuts a Zorro-esque swath from the mountainside. The unorthodox angle at which I was viewing the road made the busses appear to defy gravity, as they traveled the jittery terrain. My depth perception and sense of up and down was thrown for a loop in the disorienting vast spaces. After a few more sets of winding stairs, things started to level-out and I could finally divert the necessary attention back to appreciating the spectacular views and documenting them.

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