A Journal Entry: The Gateway of Machu Picchu

The rather rustic train rumbles alongside the Urubamba River and through the Sacred Valley towardsour destination ~ Machu Picchu. I’ve hiked in from the Inka Trail once before but I’ve always enjoyed the clatter of the train as it rounded corners of the mountain, dipped into tunnels, hen returning to the beautiful sunlight and fauna all along the way.

Fellow journeyers are full of excitement and chattering about what to expect. This will be my sixth trip to the fabled city and each time it feels like the first. Over the years the town of Aquas Calientes (the town at the base of Machu Picchu) has grown to accommodate the flow of tourists… the market place with it’s brightly colored wares; the hustle bustle of kids trying to sell you a necklace; and of course the view of Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu mountains rising high above you.

Upon arrival into Aquas Caliente, we locate our buses, which then drive us up the zigzag road to the gated entrance of Machu Picchu. I am always in awe as I walk through the gateway into the city. All around you are precision stone walls, terraces and the skeletal structures of what were once sacred temples within the city – Intihuatana (Hitching post of the Sun), the Temple of the Sun, and the Room of the Three Windows. As one explores further into the recesses of the city, you find the Pachamama Stone, Funerary Rock, the Guard House, courtyards, flowing irrigation canals and so much more. No matter where you turn it’s heart pounding to be a part of such history and energy.

One of my favorite things to do whenever I am here is to just find a cozy patch of grass in the main courtyard area and lay on the Pachamama soaking it all in! The llamas graze nearby, the sun shines down upon me and the energy of the place opens up as if to say “welcome dear one.” My journal is always close at hand so it’s the perfect place to write and let everything flow in this magical and breathtaking sacred city!

There is never enough time…. tick tock…

-Holly Rose


Editor’s Note: Readers, The Machu Picchu experience is an optional add-on trip on a number of our Four Winds Expeditions:
Via Illuminata with Alberto Villoldo
Advanced Shamanic Initiations with Marcela Lobos
Holy Mt. Salkantay with Christine Allen



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