Word is trickling out about a US citizen who fell into a ravine while approaching the Inca sacred site of Machu Picchu in Peru on January 1. Apparently, she was near the end of her 4-day trek along the 26-mile Inca Trail. I’ve done this hike and am not sure exactly where she fell. Reportedly, she fell while on the Intipunco portion of the hike, which is right near the end of the adventure as you approach the archeological site. Rachel Cecilia Gian, 26, fell off the main trail and it took over 5 hours for rescue workers to get find her, due to the rough terrain and conditions. I surmise that help came from the only village near the site called “Aguas Calientes.” It’s mostly a cluster of trinket stands, several hotels and the train depot. The only way to get to Machu Picchu is by train or the hike. No roads go there.
The Inca Trail reaches over 13,000 feet but the actual Machu Picchu site is only about 9,000 ft above sea level. Starting at Cuzco’s roughly 11,000 feet you surprisingly descend when you arrive at the Intipunco Gate to enter the ruins. Machu Picchu was discovered in 1911 by Hiram Bingham. The Trail and site are built on hillsides, so the use of hiking poles is a good idea.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “The most beautiful wall in the Americas” – Hiram Bingham
MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com