Peru: Cusco, Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu III

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Continuing from Part I and Part II, we spent an afternoon and the following morning at Machu Picchu.

#1 Inca stairway

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#2 Agricultural terraces and the stone quarry

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#3 Overview with Huayna Picchu in the background

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#4 One of the irrigation channels.

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#5 Agricultural terraces. Main entry for tourists is at upper right.

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#6 Main courtyard (lawn maintenance by the llama crew)

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#7 Yours truly setting up a photo...

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#8 The Inca trail to Machu Picchu

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#9 View of the valley of the Urubamba from Machu Picchu. The town of Aguas Caliente is near the center of the photo.

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#10 Inca drawbridge. Pedestrian traffic no longer allowed...

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#11 First view of Machu Picchu seen by walkers arriving via the Inca Trail:

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Thanks for looking. There are other pictures at our web site under "Travel".
 
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Wonderful photos! Machu Picchu is at the top of my list of places I must visit. Soon.
 
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Nice photos which bring back many memories. I was there 2 years ago. How did you manage to get a tripod in the site? When I was there they were strictly forbidden.
 
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Wonderful photos! Machu Picchu is at the top of my list of places I must visit. Soon.

Thanks, Eric. Indeed, get there soon. But I would recommend going during our winter (February is the low season) even though that is the rainy period.

Thanks for sharing the photos of your trip with us, Jim. Really enjoy them!

Thanks, Rob.

These are absolutely breath taking!!

Thanks, Andrew.

Nice photos which bring back many memories. I was there 2 years ago. How did you manage to get a tripod in the site? When I was there they were strictly forbidden.

Thanks, Gary. Nothing was said about tripods as far as I know, and mine was inside my backpack when I went in. Maybe it was because I was there during the lowest tourist season.
 

LyndeeLoo

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Nice photos which bring back many memories. I was there 2 years ago. How did you manage to get a tripod in the site? When I was there they were strictly forbidden.

I had heard that, as well. I also heard that you're limited as to the type of lens you could use and that anything over a certain focal length was forbidden.

Anywhooo...limitations or not, you got some excellent photos, Jim!! They are simply stunning!

How long did it take to reach the top? I know it can be a rather strenuous climb for those that are a bit less than fit...
 
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I had heard that, as well. I also heard that you're limited as to the type of lens you could use and that anything over a certain focal length was forbidden.

Anywhooo...limitations or not, you got some excellent photos, Jim!! They are simply stunning!

How long did it take to reach the top? I know it can be a rather strenuous climb for those that are a bit less than fit...

Thanks, Lyndee. Perhaps it was because of the season that I was there, but no one mentioned any restrictions on photography during my visit. I carried my lightweight Velbon tripod (seen in photo #7), 16-85VR (used on 90+% of my photos), and 70-300VR. The tripod and 70-300 were in my backpack which no one asked to inspect. There were guards staioned around the site, and I'm sure some of them saw me using the tripod, but again, so one said anything. I didn't use the tripod a lot because there is just so much to explore in a very limited time.

There is no climb involved, except in getting around among the ruins. Most people stay in the town of Aguas Caliente (seen at the bottom of the gorge in picture #9), and shuttle buses run up the mountain about every half hour, I think. It is possible to hike up from Aguas Caliente, but it's a long, steep, climb and I would expect it would take about an hour, maybe more. Very few people do that!

The Machu Picchu Sanctuary lodge is right at the main gate and has quite limited accommodations. It is also pretty pricey, I think, but was included in our National Geographic/Linblad tour. The park is open from 6 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily. Some people staying in town get up at 4 a.m. to catch the first bus up, which we were able to avoid. I got up at 6 a.m. the only morning we were there, but the fog was too thick to see anything, so I slept in until about 7. :smile:
 
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Now that's an amazing place!!!!

Thanks for sharing!!! :smile:

It is amazing, especially realizing the stonework was all done with bronze tools.

Stunning collection, thanks.

Thanks.

More info on photography restrictions: my wife says that the guide did warn that "professional" photography equipment was not allowed. He admonished us to just say "no" if asked if we were pros. I didn't hear that comment, so I guess I looked especially innocent. :biggrin:

Some members of our group were carrying professional quality (Canon) gear, including a couple with the 1Ds Mk II and 70-200L lenses. One even had a Canon 100-400 and a Gitzo CF tripod.
 
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Awesome set !!!
Just imagine the work that went into that place ... it's hard to even fathom it ...

ron

Thanks, Ron. The construction is certainly mind-boggling.

On that note, let me point out that the cover story in the latest (April, 2011) National Geographic is on the Incas and Machu Picchu, apparently with some information about how the construction was done (I haven't read it yet - it just arrived an hour ago).

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P.s. - I have read it now and find little about construction techniques. It's mostly about the political organization, but that is quite interesting.
 
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Wow! Number two, as well as all the staircase photos really stand out, but there isn't an uninteresting photo in here. Definitely one of those places that a photographer feels the desire to go shoot after seeing photos like this. Thanks for sharing :)
 
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These are wonderful. As when standing in Tikal (Guatemala), I'm overwhelmed with the level of civilization that was there - and then vanished. The jungle can overtake abandoned structures very quickly, so I can understand how it was hidden for centuries, but now they provide an incredible window of wonderment. I've never seen mountains like those - so steep, so green. Another mystery of life - why did they build there? How did they sustain themselves? Where did they go?

Thanks so much for taking me along on your trip. One day, I hope to see it for myself.
 
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Wow! Number two, as well as all the staircase photos really stand out, but there isn't an uninteresting photo in here. Definitely one of those places that a photographer feels the desire to go shoot after seeing photos like this. Thanks for sharing :)

Thanks, Marty. I read in one guidebook that it is impossible to take a bad picture at Machu Picchu. That's almost literally true. I would have loved to have had another day or two there.

What a beautiful place. Thank you for sharing.

My pleasure, Sang. Thanks for looking.

These are wonderful. As when standing in Tikal (Guatemala), I'm overwhelmed with the level of civilization that was there - and then vanished. The jungle can overtake abandoned structures very quickly, so I can understand how it was hidden for centuries, but now they provide an incredible window of wonderment. I've never seen mountains like those - so steep, so green. Another mystery of life - why did they build there? How did they sustain themselves? Where did they go?

Thanks so much for taking me along on your trip. One day, I hope to see it for myself.

Thank you, Mary. There's lots of information available now about Machu Picchu, and the archaeologists seem to think they understand it. Just do a web search and you'll find plenty of reading. :smile:
 

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