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Machu Picchu reopens for a single tourist who's been stranded in Peru for seven months

October 15, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

After an unexpected Covid-19 induced seven month stay in Peru, Jesse Katayama is finally crossing "visit Machu Picchu" off of his bucket list.

(CNN) — Like many travelers around the world, Jesse Katayama found his dream trip thwarted by the spread of Covid-19.

But after an unexpected seven month stay in Peru, Katayama is finally crossing "visit Machu Picchu" off of his bucket list -- and he got to enjoy being the only tourist there.

Katayama, a native of Nara, Japan, arrived in Aguas Calientes -- the town from which most people begin their Machu Picchu expeditions -- on March 14.

Since then, the 26-year-old Katayama has become a local in Aguas Calientes, where he has been renting a small room for the past seven months.

Katayama tells CNN that his goal is to become a gym owner and instructor when he returns to Japan, so he used his lockdown period to practice his moves.

"I go to run every morning and I could see Machu Picchu afar in distance," Katayama told CNN.

However, as he started to run out of money, it looked like Katayama would have to head back home to Japan without ever having used his Machu Picchu ticket.

With help from the national Ministry of Culture, Katayama was given special permission to enter Machu Picchu -- and to have the normally crowded site nearly all to himself.

In a celebratory Instagram post, Katayama wrote, "I thought I never make it (to Machu Picchu) but everyone asked the government and the town and they game me super special permission. " He added: "Peruvians are soooo kind.

Several local children have drawn Katayama pictures and created a doll for him out of toilet paper rolls.

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