Machu Picchu Soundscape

After a rewarding day of hiking Huayna Picchu and hiking to the Inca Bridge, I nestled myself into a nook to observe the soundscape around me. I am above a river, and running water dominates over any chance of silence. I situate myself beneath a a rock wall, and to my right there are two puddles of water. Water droplets fall from the rock, creating a large splat as it hits the small pool of water. The puddles are in conversation; the puddles would ripple in succession as water drops plummeted to their respective pool. This is the closest sound to me; but a louder sound quickly drowns this out.

As I sit on the trail, a few people pass me. Some add to the soundscape by way of footsteps or shuffling their feet; this gives me insight into whether or not they have hiked other trails or perhaps other mountains. I can distinctly hear Spanish chatter from around the corner before a group of women emerge, talking about their hike from what I could interpret. A few other groups pass, speaking languages I had never experienced before. The natural sounds of the environment are interrupted by the jingle of a Kodak camera coming to life to capture the beautiful landscape.

Soon I am yet again alone with the sounds of nature. Wind whispers through the nook I sought shelter in; it sends brown, crunchy leaves twirling about me. Nearby trees bend slightly in the breeze, branches dancing against the sky. The wind carries the sound of a horn to my ears; I cannot determine whether it resonates from a bus stuck in traffic or a train pulling out of the station. But the sounds always return to the comforting rush of the river, creating a sense of peace in the mountains.

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