Machu Picchu Soundscape

I’ve always wanted to visit Machu Piccu. To think that at 1:45 on October 29th, I’m sitting on a terrace overlooking the city and taking in this view, is still unbelievable. Today, not only has Chesapeake Semester climbed Huaynapicchu, but we’ve seen the Inca bridge and explored Machu Picchu more.

I could hear the breeze, quiet footsteps, and voices. This place that was once a city hundreds of years ago, was now a tourist attraction. Millions of people visit this place a day. I thought of how many busses went up and down the mountain side each day and for how long this will be safe without having to refurbish the mountain side. On top of the mountain, it was quiet. The closest noise I could hear was the occasional bug that flew by. The farthest was the river, thousands of feet below. In the quarter of an hour that I sat on the terrace and listened, I heard a train whistle and the hum of the hydro electric factory down the river. Birds flew around and tourists cameras clicked.

I decided to close my eyes as I sat and leaned back against the terrace behind me. My mind immediately thought about how a civilization could live on top of this mountain. I am amazed at how a culture can become so adapt at breathing this air which had little oxygen. Our Chesapeake Semester group could barely make it up a few stairs without breathing heavily. How did this culture live on a daily basis? Climbing Huaynapicchu, I was terrified that I might fall off the side. How were children raised in a environment such as this? Such a cynical thought went through my head… How many deaths were there from people accidentally falling off the side of the mountain? Surprising myself, I quickly opened my eyes and looked around. The sun was bright. I needed to think of something else. Upon closing my eyes again, I still pondered how a civilization could live on top of this mountain and how exactly they built this city. Today, it’s so easy, especially in the United States to build houses. Yet, on top of Macchu Picchu, these stone structures are an amazing site to see. How did these people build these structures that still stand today?

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