The Fog at the Sun Gate

November 9th, 2006

We arrived to Machu Picchu to see it shrouded in fog. Already exhausted from our walk from the valley below, we climbed down onto some Inca farming terraces, just below the famous Watchman’s Hut and sat down in the rain to rest. We could see next to nothing of the ruins, so we decided to take a walk in the direction of the Sun Gate, from where groups of hikers were arriving from their days of hiking the Inca Trail.
The Sun Gate is about 30 minutes away from Machu Picchu, up the side of the mountain from which it got its name. We first had to pass through more terraces, here we found a number of llamas who let us approach quite close without spitting at us. We spent some more time here with our new friends, watching the clouds roll over the mountains.
Moving on, we began our climb. The Inca road we were walking on was bumpy but in good order. Halfway along it we found a good place to stop, some ruins, perhaps a control gate, with a large exposed cliff-face looking out over the valley. Taking another rest here, we soon found that we had slept for about an hour. We stood up, and as we did noticed dozens of large lizards scurrying away.
The fog had cleared and we got our first view of the ancient Inca city and the peak of Huayna Picchu. A bit further along we saw the winding road from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu. We realised just how far we had climbed that morning.
At the Sun Gate we could now see the city in the near distance and views down the surrounding valleys. We also saw the Inca trail that runs off into the distance for many days.
Photos below.

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