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For days, I silently exhorted Inti, the Incan sun god, to accord us a day of blue skies. But no such luck — it was raining and chilly when my wife, two young sons and I headed to Machu Picchu, the famous 15th-century citadel in Peru's Andes Mountains.
It remained wet and overcast throughout the morning as we inched through tour-group bottlenecks to get our first views of the ruins. That's when we forgot about the weather and, for the next seven hours, clambered through stone structures and across terraced slopes, imagining that we were traveling in the footsteps of the Incas.
We hardly even felt the damp as we climbed up a dauntingly steep and slippery trail (no small feat for 6- and 10-year-old legs) to the summit of Huayna Picchu, the iconic peak rising 850 feet behind and above Machu Picchu.
Best of all, Inti finally delivered. A brilliant finish to an awesome day.