Friday, December 3, 2010

Machu Picchu photos

This post includes pics by both Jan and Inga. Machu Picchu and other sites in the Valle Sagrado and around Cusco, the Inka empire capital, were well worth the visit.
We are here.  The fog lifted eventually.

The famous view later in the day.
Rant alert: But after 4 days, I was done with the constant hussle that restaurants, massage parlours, tour operators, craft market vendors at ever single historic site subject tourists to. I mean I really am not going to buy all this stuff - at every single stop - or eat every 5 minutes! Yikes.
Note angle of wall. That´s earthquake-proof!

Rant over.

Back to amazing experiences and views of an empire that, however shortlived it was, left some indelible evidence of its greatness.

The 2-hour tour we took (in Spanish :) was excellent. The guide kept it fresh and he was still excited about his subject which made it a great experience.

Ruins: 3 windows - Pachamama (Mother Earth). Fog. Inga. Nice.

These people used mountains and temples as sun clocks, to understand their world and dry and wet season. They were amazing farmers, creating terrasses with micro-climates to genetically engineer some important crops at higher altitudes.

Lovely how the clouds wafted up and over.

Terrasses and a quarry overlook the mountains and valley.

Having fun in the ruins.

Temple of the Sun. Just not on this day.


  1. Hello ladies,

    Thank you for sharing the wonderful images of your spectacular journey...and allowing us readers to live vicariously through your amazing experiences. Very inspiring indeed!

    (Jan - thank you for the beautiful post card - it was such a lovely surprise!)

    May the remainder of your trip continue to be fantastic!

    Lisa P.

  2. :))) Glad you´re along for the ride, Lisa!

  3. Grand pictures of you Inga!
    How high up is Machu Picchu? Did you get any idea of how much the Peruvian government had to do to reconstruct this site or how long it took?
    By the way, my mom is enjoying the trip as much as I am. She raves about the beautiful prose.
    Seana is using the blog as geography lessons for the boys. They are all loving this adventure as well.

  4. Machu Picchu is only at 2,400 m. Aguas Calientes is at 2,000 m. Sort of a low point for us in Peru :)

    The site was completely overgrown when US scientist was led there by the local people in 1911. We saw some amazing pics from back then. The locals knew about the city all along, of course, but didn´t think it so important. Anyhow, the Peru government hasn´t had a great record in keeping its historic treasures in good shape. Thousands of artifacts from this site were brought to Yale U for study in the early . They are now making efforts to repatriate. Also during the logging operations and "clean up" some buildings got damaged. Also the King and Queen of Spain really needed to land there by helicopter in the mid 1970s - and one very important stone got moved and later destroyed as a result. As our Spanish tour companion said: "Why couldn´t my king walk up like all of us"

    The whole area has become a prime tourism spot - and all the locals seem to want to cash in. Ah, you read my rant ...

  5. ... oh ... some edits: "early and mid 1900s."

    And thanks. I think the mountain tan suits me :) and I drop a size and a half trekking :)))

  6. I was amazed by the rocks to build walls and houses that were designed and crafted to be put side by side or on top of another and fit perfectly without any free space in between. Nice pics. Guy