The local women here call each other, and me, ¨mama.¨ I take it as a term of endearment. Anyway, this mama made it to Machu Picchu.I almost didn´t come. I was worried about all of the climbing and my poor fragile knees. But 7 months of trekking around South America has put more of a spring in my step. I went to the top of all of the places in the park, including the very high sight where this photo was taken.It seems everyone that goes has this shot of themselves, as well as the overhead shot of Machu Picchu itself. I knew I would get there, once I was determined, but I never thought I would get the ¨money shot.¨ I got many, from many angles.
I have such a feeling of personal achievement. Yes, there were young and old, fat and poorly shod, many with walking sticks and canes, and I hope they feel as successful as I do. But the fact is that I´m not sure I could have done this a year ago. At least I don´t think I would have had the confidence to have tried. I have been working on not comparing myself with others and to take my achievements and satisfactions on my own measure. I succeeded, and that is my Machu Picchu.
Of course I have too many more photos. If you need proof of the brilliance of the Incans, it is all here. In 100 years, the Incans built an empire that:
¨extended from “the border of Ecuador and Colombia down to about 50 miles [80 kilometers] south of modern Santiago, Chile,” said Terence D’Altroy of Columbia University, in a 2007 PBS Nova interview. “In terms of square miles, we’re probably talking something like 300,000 square miles [more than 775,000 square km],” he said, adding that its population was as high as 12 million people.
To support this empire, a system of roads stretched for almost 25,000 miles (roughly 40,000 km), about three times the diameter of the Earth.¨
All those roads led to Machu Picchu.