Machu Picchu, a childhood dream

At 3:30 am, the alarm pulled him out of a short night of sleep. He wanted to beat the crowd to enter the site, which he did. He actually climbed to the main entrance in no time and beat the whole line-up and ended up the first at the gate with another Canadian. It didn’t take long after his arrival that herds of tourists showed up by buses, while slower hikers also reached the summit. By 6:00 am there was over 200 people waiting for their passport to be scanned and ticket stamped to access the mystical site…

The top of the mountain was deeply buried in a thick gray cloud. He could only see the path in front of him making the place even more enchanting. He was totally absorbed by the site. Feeling like he was discovering an ancient civilization. Just like he was the first one to walk that rocky trail in centuries. But his illusion will soon be dissipating, the clouds melted and the sun shone. It also revealed a mass of people invading this precious jewel of a past era.

While making is way through the guided tours and the selfie sticks, he tried to re-connect with the spirit of the place. But there was always someone around or a guard to push him back into the flow of the visit. He had a feeling of vertigo, not by the altitude but by the swirl of touristic activities around him. Like the merchants did in the temple, the Machu Picchu is losing his signification and spirits. It became nothing but a money maker for the state and a bucket list check box to the trendy traveler.

Lepirate wanted to see the Machu Picchu since he was no more than 5 years old. He remembers the bedtime stories his dad was telling him and his younger brother. Filling dreamland with expeditions through a thick jungle that will bring him to the discovery of artifacts and forgotten civilizations. Dreams are meant to be realized but sometimes they are brighter in imagination than in reality. He felt sad to see how this patrimonial site is exploited…

Some 5 hours of walking later, he was making his way out of the site. Walking through a ruin, he stopped to look through a window. The green steep mountains on the horizon and in the rock frame of the opening, a sprout was growing… He smiled, he was happy after all to have witnessed this great wonder with his own eyes. He also felt proud to have rolled with his motorcycle the 40000 kilometres that separated him from one of his childhood dreams. There was probably no one that day that deserved to see the Machu Picchu more than he did…


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