Visiting the ruins of Macchu Picchu has been a dream for Maritza and I’s, for a very long time. I know its not an animal adventure, (even though I did get to see a few), but seeing those ruins and the views from the top of those mountains was high on my list of must see things in this lifetime. So we decided to plan a little getaway, just the two of us and fly up to Peru, to see what this place was all about.
It's always a bit nerve racking visiting a new place. You never know what to expect. Will it be good, will it be bad? You just don't know until you climb in a plane and set off into the unknown.
But of course, that is the beauty of traveling to new places. Meeting new people, seeing new places and experiencing new things. That unknown is what I live for. We got it all when we landed in Peru. The biggest shock for me was the spiritual high I got from place. Peru is truly magical, filled with history, both good and bad. I can honestly say, I am in love with it all, and I was completely over whelmed with everything I experienced.
And that is because I was not expecting to be. I mean, I was going to Peru to see some ruins, not animals, so I was expecting to just check this place off my very long list of places I needed to see, before I die list. But I left there in awe of everything this place represents, and is. It truly humbled the shit out of me.
The photo opportunities here also blew me away. From the rainbow mountains to Macchu Picchu. It was an emotional experience, standing up on top of those mountains. I wanted to just stand there and soak it all in, leaving my camera in the bag...but that is not who I am. I am a storyteller and my job is to share the experience of being out there. Capturing moments to share is my passion and what I really love to do. So as I was trying to figure out how to write a blog about this experience, I decided the best way to do it is with some of the images I captured. Every one has a story attached to it. Figured it might be the only way I can really try and share what I felt…
We visited the Rainbow mountains. This was the first place we visited on our trip, which was a mistake. If I knew then what I know now, I would of left visiting this mountain till the end of the trip, or maybe not visit it at all. We had to hike up what I believe is about 2 - 3 miles to get to the top of rainbow mountain from base camp (where the cars are). However, base camp is at about 14,000 feet, and the top is around 17,000 feet. It is hard to breathe, AND a very, very tough hike. We are flat landers and a bit out of shape for such an ambitious hike. This really kicked our asses. We hiked up for about an hour and then had to pay one of the locals for a horse ride up the mountain trail. There are a lot of locals hanging around, selling rides. These are really tough ponies and really tough people walking these animals up and down this mountain trail, every day, all year. Mad respect for them.
The views, up and down this trail were spectacular. In the distance there were snow covered peaks, in fact, while we were hiking down, it began snowing for a little while, which added to the fun and misery. For me, one of the highlights was all the alpacas. There were herds of them all over the valley.
When we finally made it to the top of the mountain we were thrilled to have made it, even though we did ride a horse for part of it, we still had to hike the final leg to the top of the mountain. We were so exhausted and breathless, due to having very thin air up there, and being out of shape. We took in the sights, it was really beautiful. Snow clouds rolled in and covered up the entire area, but just as suddenly as they appeared, they were gone. I took as many photos as I could, but my head was pounding from the altitude. We did drink a lot of coca tea, which helped, but it was still very tough. We rested for a bit, then began the hike down. We walked the entire way down, thinking it would be easier. It was still freaking hard, but we did it. Maritza ending up hurting her knee on the decent, she continued to walk, but it was painful.
Visiting Macchu Picchu was one of the most amazing places I have ever visited. Climbing this mountain and seeing the brilliant ruins here. The architecture here is a marvel. The stone work and the engineering is amazing. Even for todays standards it is beyond amazing.
The Incas that built this place were geniuses. Still to this day, it has not been figured out how it was done. Of course I am an ancient alien theorist, so I know who helped them. Which is part of the reason I wanted to visit Peru. I wanted to visit the Inca museum to see the Paracas skulls (elongated skulls). Now that was beyond cool, seeing them with my own eyes. Just love the crazy mysteries of this world. Not knowing where we truly came from.
Peru was amazing. We will definitely be returning next season. The big thing was finding out that Peru was so much more than ruins. The wildlife!!! I knew Peru would have some wildlife, what I didn't know was how much. We will be returning to visit the rainforests here for opportunities to photograph, jaguars, speckled bears, giant river otters, monkeys, capybaras and one of the most beautiful birds out there, the cock on the rock! Yes, thats really its name. Google it. I took advantage of my limited time out here (we had 5 days), and photographed as much wildlife as I could, but as amazing as this place is... we will be back for more.