Japanese Tourist Stranded in Peru Since March Gets Machu Picchu All to Himself
When 26-year-old Jesse Katayama set out to travel the world, his dream was to finish his trip with an ascent to Machu Picchu, the iconic 15th-century Inca citadel high in the Andes Mountains—8,000 ft above sea level.
Then coronavirus struck and his March 16th pass to the World Heritage Site was rendered obsolete. Rather than take an expensive emergency flight back to Japan, Katayama opted to stay in Peru, figuring he’d wait out the scare and realize his dream of seeing Machu Picchu a few weeks later.
The ‘few weeks’ turned into months—however, 7 crazy months later, Katayama got to realize his dream and aside from a few guides, got the entire place to himself. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that shows good things come to those who wait.
Alejandro Neyra, Peru’s culture minister, said in a virtual news conference on Monday that Mr. Katayama had been granted special access to the site in recognition of his patience.
“He had come to Peru with the dream of being able to enter,” Mr. Neyra said. “The Japanese citizen has entered together with our head of the park so that he can do this before returning to his country.”
An official reopening date for Machu Picchu has yet to be announced.
[via New York Times]
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Tags: · coronavirus, covid-19, first, hiking, machu picchu, mountains, peru, rare, ruins, top, unesco