Our trip to Machu Picchu, Cusco, and Sacred Valley

Colin & JoAnn in PeruWe got back to Atlanta early yesterday morning from Peru. Having completed the workshops we had embarked on a tour that took in Machu Picchu, Cusco, and Sacred Vally. It was amazing. Traveling with Muss and Ana, our two incredible Peruvian Radical Living Coaches, we had a blast.

At 7,000 feet, atop a seemingly unscaleable mountain, the Inca city of Machu Picchu is nothing short of spectacular. How they did it is beyond imagination. Still today, no-one knows how they so accurately shaped and placed the huge stones that form the walls of the buildings and terraces. (See pictures.)

They had no tools that would even touch the hard granite, let alone carve them into shape with such precision. They had not yet discovered the wheel so had no pulleys to help lift the stones that each weighed many tons. It boggles the mind how they did it.

It reminded me of Stonehenge, of course, with it’s massive stones that still begs an explanation as to how they got there, too.

We were lucky in that most of the ‘tourists’ had left by the time we arrived, so it was not at all crowded. That’s very unusual since it has become not a place just for back-packers and spiritual seekers, but a must-see place for all, with a great train service to take you there. Hence large crowds.

We found a spot where we could meditate for a while. I have to say, for me, I did not connect with anything of a spiritual nature and was left wondering why the place was particularly meaningful as a sort of ‘mecca’ for spiritual people. What do they see and feel that I didn’t?

What I felt, as I tuned in, was the intense suffering of all those many thousands of slaves and minions who must have toiled endlessly and painfully to manifest this city in such an inhospitable and unforgiving environment and in so short a time. (The Incas only lasted for 150 years.) And for what, I had to ask?

Yes, Machu Picchu does qualify as the 9th wonder of the world in terms what was achieved, and I was certainly awe-struck by it. But I was not inspired by it. I was unable to make sense of it.

Maybe I missed the point but to my eyes today, it seemed like a huge waste of human energy and lives for no better reason than to please a king and to glorify some god. And that sounds all too familiar, don’t you think?

For all that, I am very glad to have seen it with my own eyes and experienced the incredible majesty of it. Cusco, which was the Inca capital, was also inspiring though, at 11,300 feet, breathing was a bit of a challenge.

Now it’s back to work.

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7 thoughts on “Our trip to Machu Picchu, Cusco, and Sacred Valley

  1. Mary Lee Russell

    Hello Colin,
    I can relate to your comment about not feeling inspired- although we have not been to Macchu Picchu yet, coming soon I hope.
    I often have that reaction at historical places and then remember that a lot of ‘bad’ actions took place there as well as the sacred and often takes time to ‘clear out.’

  2. Frank Lynch

    This is on my bucket list. I felt the same as you when I went to visit the great pyrmids in egypt.

  3. Muriel Lindsay

    You did miss something. But I assume the something is not important to you in this lifetime. The apus (mountains) of Peru indeed hold energies that are profound. These energies are felt in the nervous system, speaking for myself. I have had profound responses to this land, and not just in the hot spot of Machu Picchu but out in the wilderness areas as well. But then again, I think I was born to utilize these experiences that I am afforded through my body to go in a certain direction in life than I otherwise would. We all have different paths and if we were the same as one another in our sensitivities, we might not be able to get on with the work at hand that our soul has in mind.

  4. Corinne

    Wow!Looks like you had a great time!Lovely to see you altogether on those pics!Sounds as if you did an amazing job over there. So happy you are part of my life. Lots of love to Ana, Muss, JoAnn & Mr Forgiveness himself ;). Corinne

  5. Ayana Mishelle Hendricks

    Hello Collin and Joanna
    This is your long lost adopted daughter Ayana Hendricks. Maybe you were not to make sense of it but to see the beauty of it , the creation of something wonderful and the fact that you were there and could see it with you natural eyes. The wonder is always inside. We don’t have to travel across the world to experience wonder we can see that in a rock or tiny pebble in our own back yard. I don’t believe there are wonders of the world located around the world. I believe they are everywhere each day, we are still on this beautiful planet and can find food that is real food and drink water that is as close to pure as we can find. Maybe it was not about you Collin but the people and plants and organisms that live there and love that place and call it home. You were just a visitor and what a priviledge for you and Joanna to take your work to that place. We take the sacred with us or we will never find it when we arrive if we look for I believe it is always inside and in our perceptions you taught me that.

  6. Margaret Taylor

    Well, Colin, from an anthropological point of new, people from the beginning of time have worshiped the ‘power’ that nourished and enriched their lives, ie; the sun, moon, stars and then, later, by Gods and Goddesses who represented the natural world.
    It is evolution. For them it was very important to please the Gods.
    I agree about the suffering , but that happened in many countries over the centuries. When visiting my homeland of England, I always felt an over-whelming sense of sadness and suffering for all the needless killing in wars between countries, ie; Scotland and England. Not to mention the building of cathedrals and castles etc., which took ten or twenty years usually, and employed either slaves (in earlier times) or underpaid and abused peasant workers for centuries.
    Thanks for sharing, it was very interesting to get your point of view.
    Margaret Taylor.

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