I thought today, in honor of my birthday, I would post a copy of what I posted three years ago on this very same day.
Quarter of a century huh??? Well that seems like quite a lot, but I think that there is quite a bit left to do, so I´m trying to stay out of the habbit of getting in a hurry. Life is quick, so why rush things?
Today has been quite a day. Actually the last two days have been go go go. Yesterday morning I hoped on a our bus, and visited the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the Pisac ruins and Ollantaytambo ruins. They were both quite amazing, with feats that would be amazing by todays standards of construction. Then because of all the rain damage, the Ollantaytambo railway has been temporarily shut down, so we took a bus to another station, got the train, and arrived in Aguas Calientes around 9:30 last night.
This morning started with a one hour, 300 meter vertical climb to the gates at Machu Picchu; leaving at 4:30 a.m. Was it worth it to see the sunrise over the mountains? Yep.
So I think I´ve figured out the amount of vertical travel today. 1400 meters, or right around 4600 ft. We (Nick and Nicki from London) climbed Waynapicchu, then back down to the ruins, then Nick and I climbed Machu Picchu mountain. Both produced some amazing views of the ruins. Then of course back down to the bottom, and back into town. All in all, 4:30 am start, returning to the city around 6:00 pm. But what an amazing place to be on my birthday.
Sunrise, 5:30am, on my way up to Machu Picchu
New friends, Nick and Nicki (from London), whom I spent most of the day with. We´re on our way up Waynapicchu in this picture (300 meters above MP), and some random lady was handing out these awesome paper visors. Nick is a photographer, also, so Nicki had double the waiting for us to finish shooting. Only 400 people are allowed to climb Waynapicchu each day, and what amazing views it gave of the ruins.
After getting a tip from my tour guide, I had my heart set on climbing Machu Picchu Mountian, the big one that most people don´t climb. On the day we were there, only about 40 other people that came to MP even attempted this one. The small looking mountain you can see close to the ruins was Waynapicchu, which we had climbed earlier.
Back down from MP mountain, with the sun setting in the west, it´s been a good day.
Last picture of the day, as we´re getting asked to leave the ruins because they are closing. Nick and I needed to show where we had climbed. Yep, the big one, waaaaay up there, around 500 meters above where we are standing in this photo.
I haven’t done a panoramic shot in quite a while, but there has been some really cool work being put up lately, and it inspired me to get this one finished up. I actually do shoot quite a few shots for panoramas, but they definitely add a layer of complexity in the post processing. When done right, though, I will admit that the results are pretty awesome.
Magical Morning at Machu Picchu
It’s been nearly three years since exploring Machu Piccu, but if still feels like yesterday. It’s the kind of place that will stay with you forever, it’s majestic form. I was lucky enough to spend my birthday up here, and you can bet I was one of the first to enter and last to leave. But, I will admit, getting back to Aguas Calientes, and sipping on a Pisco Sour or two with Nick andNikki (who at the time didn’t share a last name) was pretty memorable too, and much needed!
Well the big project I’ve been working on is getting my Gallery together. I’ve never really been completely happy with the way that people have had trouble being able to go back and look at previous works, or just have a more enjoyable, controllable browsing experience. I’ve found the solution in SmugMug. Talk about a great showcase for photographers. If you’ve got a few minutes, click on over to the gallery tab, browse and let me know what you think!
Sun Beams at Machu Picchu
One thing I would still love to find a way to do, is stay at MP till sunset. At the moment I don’t know if that’s allowed, but perhaps with a special pass, something of that sort, it could be worked out. Same thing with Chichen Itza for that matter, they would both be stunning with the sky full of colors of a sunset. Alas, I’ll just have to go back and try!
Exploring the depths (well technically it’s heights, since it’s on a mountain) of Machu Picchu was pretty high up on ‘the list’ of things that I had always wanted to do. Another thing high up on that list, find some llamas while I was there! Haha. The day was nearly over before I did, as they start to heard you out of the park somewhere around 5pm, not that I was all too reluctant, as my journey that morning started around 4am hiking up the side of the mountain. Come to think of it, I had really hoped there were more people starting when I did. I don’t know if I was early or late, just that I was alone. It’s actually quite a walk from the town that you stay in to where you are on a trail to hike up. Pitch black, creepy kind of quiet. I remember that feeling like it was yesterday. Actually I was reluctant to leave, I would have loved to stay there till the sun was fully set and all sorts of colors filled the sky. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. But, I did find my llamas.
Some dreams stay with you forever,drag you around but bring you back to where you were.Some dreams keep on gettin better,gotta keep believin if you wanna know for sure.
Turning 25 the day I climbed MP was a pretty great experience, one that I’ll never forget. I have been reading a book recently about a man who was born with a degenerative eye condition, on that caused complete blindness by the time he turned 16 or so. In the biography, he talks about a trip he took with his father and two brothers, and their hike into Machu Picchu, and it brought back all the feelings from that day. The book is called “Touch the Top of the World” by Erik Weihenmayer, and is quite inspirational. To compliment my reading, I completed a photo from my first steps onto the ruins that morning.