Friday, June 08, 2012

Photos from Peru - Part Two

Yesterday, I shared some photos from my May top-of-the-bucket-list trip to Peru and Ecuador with Overseas Adventure Travel. Today, I'm posting the second half of the set of photos I selected from Peru. Next week, I'll share some from Ecuador. Enjoy!

Above is one of the spectacular views we had from the train during our morning ride from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes, the town at the base of Machu Picchu. After lunch we rode a park bus up the steep 14 switchbacks to reach the site. The first photo below is the view after walking in the entrance gate and turning a corner. At least one of our group, who had anticipated this trip for years, burst into tears at the sight.

Below is a photo of the Temple of the Sun, showing how tightly the Incas fitted rocks together to build their structures. Below that is a photo of me and my husband Neil at the site, then one showing the steep terraces that the Incas built around all the open sides of Machu Picchu, mostly to provide stability and support for the settlement.

As we neared the end of our first day at Machu Picchu, we watched the llama herder drive his small herd back to their nighttime stable. I took a photo of my photographer hubby doing what he loves best (after skiing), and below the photo of him is one of his spectacular shots.

Neil was the only one of our group who opted to get up early and go to Machu Picchu for sunrise, and the photo below is one of the beautiful ones he took. After that is a a picture of the trail to the Sun Gate, where the Inca Trail comes into the Machu Picchu complex. Below that is a photo of those of us in our group who hiked up to the Sun Gate, with Machu Picchu in the background.

After the Sun Gate hike, we hiked over to see the Inca Bridge, planks of wood across a gap in a steep cliffside trail that can be pulled up in case of an enemy attack. Ingenious! Below that photo is a last one of Neil and I taken at the site before we left for lunch and the return train trip to Ollantaytambo and bus ride to Cuzco.

The next morning in Cuzco, we visited the local market, which included flower sellers, grains, fruit, breads (all shown below), produce, meats, clothes, shoes, liquor, chocolates, electronics, toys, and cooked meals (not shown).

Next stop was an alpaca clothing and weaving shop, where we got a demonstration of weaving.

Then we toured the Sacsayhuaman fortress situated on a hilltop overlooking Cuzco.

After that, we saw a demonstration of how potatoes were cooked in a stone oven over a wood fire (and actually ate them!), saw some alpaca up close, and went through a traditional healing ceremony conducted by an Andean medicine man.

After lunch, we explored the Plaza de Armas in the center of Cuzco.

We finished up our stay in Peru by watching a very colorful and energetic performance of native dances. The next morning, we took off for Ecuador.


Unknown said...

Great post and spectacular photos, Beth! I'm more ready than ever to go go go somewhere! Thanks for all that - more, please!

Beth Groundwater said...

More is coming, Sheila! I'll post Ecuador photos tomorrow and Friday.