Week 10 – Machu Picchu

Go onto Google Images and look up Machu Picchu.  On Friday I scaled that.  I was at the top, the very highest point, looking down on the ruins…
Let me just break this down for you:
For someone to go up Machu Picchu on their own is quite adventurous…
For someone to go up without a tour guide is unusual…
For a disabled person to walk up Machu Picchu is extremely unusual…
For a disabled person to walk up, independently, without a tour guide, to the very top is completely unheard of and unprecedented…
What´s any man saying??  Rewrite the history books ladies and gentlemen.
I arrived at Agua Calientes train station at around 11am, after the four hour ride from Cusco, but don´t think for a second that anyone would want to build the Machu Picchu train station anywhere near Machu Picchu itself.
No, of course not.
I found the whole situation of getting through the local town, and the maze of a market, avec bus and admission tickets (you´d think they´d be easier to find, considering that every person there wants one…) and getting on the bus to the ruins themselves, fairly stressful and confusing, perhaps partly because I was really rushing, in order to get as much time as possible in the ruins themselves.  But, admittedly, I think I came out pretty well off:
I pay the child rate for my bus ticket, even though I asked for the student rate, and the student rate for admission without the necessary student card, and I skip the entire (very long) bus queue.
Easy, easy!
My friend in Cusco, Franklin, advised me to leave my wheelchair here, at the admissions desk, however, at this point, the many Peruvian officials seem more than happy to put it onthe bus heading for Machu Picchu, so I´m down for whatever.
When I get off the bus, immediately in front of me is a large flight of stairs (no railing, obviously) which seems to serve as the main entrance.  So I decide to leave my wheelchair next to the stairs… this setting seems fairly safe considering most people here are tourists, or “gringos” as us hardcore Peruvians call them.
I ask the women at the entrance if this is OK, and she says yes, but then when I go to continue… “Uno momento, por favor.”
Forget that blud.
My forceful approach of immediately replying with “Why, it´s OK?” seems to pay off, and I´m quickly on my way.
During my trip so far I have noticed a lot of similarities between Peruvians and people back home, but here is a key difference – if this was in England, someone with a wheelchair would be expected to ring up to let the authorities know four years in advance, fill out 329 health and safety forms and disclaimers, and then would probably still get boyed out at the entrance…
But in Peru, es de nada.
I got to the top in record time, gasping for air the entire way, and I cannot believe it… physically that is the hardest thing I´ve ever done and the overwhelming sense of achievement, combined with the unbelievable view of Machu Picchu is an immense feeling.
It´s emotional… it´s a lot.
I chill out for a bit, get someone to take a couple of pictures for all the haters tryna doubt, and then I realise that there´s actually still a little way more to get to the very, very top… so where do you think I´m heading son?
I´ve made it… unbelievable, I feel on top of the world and, in all honesty, I´m probably not far off… from the hoards of tourists cruising the depths below, I can now see only one other couple on my level.
Considering I had merked the ting in unbelievable time, and my train wasn´t leaving until 6.03pm, I decided to make use of my time at the top, so you dun´ kno I had to exploit that inspiration to come up with some bars…
I´m up in the clouds like Machu Picchu /
Said I couldn´t do that so I´mma have to teach you /
Skin so dirty the mosquitoes bite it /
At the top so quiet the mosquitoes silent / (pause)
The birds come out to play at night /
A scene so sick no writers write it /
A scene so serene so no fighters fight /
Take a couple pics ´cos I´m out of sight…
Big in the game.

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