Imagine that you traveled the world with a particular destination in mind, and just as you were about to reach it, it was decreed off-limits. You can see it, but you can’t touch. And you had to stay there, so close yet so far away. That’s the story of 26-year-old Jesse Katayama of Osaka, Japan, who flew to Peru to visit Machu Picchu. He landed on March 14, just in time for a national lockdown.
With international flights on hold and lockdown in full effect, 26-year-old Katayama was stranded, report Tiffany May and Hisako Ueno for the New York Times. He rented a small room in Aguas Calientes and passed the time by teaching boxing to local children, taking yoga classes, and studying for various exams.
In his free time, Katayama visited nearby attractions like the Putucusi Mountain and the Calientes Waterfalls. But the destination he’d originally set out to see remained elusive.
“I go to run every morning and I could see Machu Picchu afar in distance,” he tells CNN’s Lilit Marcus. “I thought I would never make it to Machu Picchu as I was expecting it [wouldn’t] open within this year.”
Seven months later, Katayama finally got to see Machu Picchu in a most spectacular fashion, which you can read about at Smithsonian.
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