October 30, 2009

Peru 2009 -- Finding Our Way

I'm sitting in the only corner of our hotel room here in Cusco where the wi-fi doesn't disconnect me every three minutes. I shouldn't complain though...who woulda thunk finding wi-fi would be so easy in Peru? I thought I'd give another quick update, this one with more pictures. I had to use the crappy Microsoft photo editor for these, so they're not as cleaned up as I'd like them to be.

The legendary Lost City of the Inca. No words can adequately describe the magic of this place. Even the thousands of pushy tourists couldn't detract from the experience. Well, not much, anyway.

Llamas at Machu Picchu on Wednesday morning.

Sonja admiring some of the exquisite stonework characteristic of the Incan empire. The lines are so straight, and the stones carved so perfectly, you couldn't fit a pin between them! No mortar is used, either. Only perfect craftmanship (literally) holds these walls together.

The fortress of Ollantaytambo was much smaller than Machu Picchu, but impressive nonetheless. Even moreso when you consider it was the site of the Incan Empires only win against the invading Spanish Conquistadors.

After exploring the Incan fortress at Ollantaytambo on Thursday morning, we found ourselves in the middle of a festival in the village center. Men and women were packing the tiny village, many wearing traditional clothing.

Local women enjoying the festival, with a bored boy hanging out behind them.

A street vendor in Ollantaytambo.

Yes, this is exactly what it looks like: roasted cuy (guinea pigs). While I did manage to muster up the courage to try alpaca last night (not my favorite), I haven't yet decided whether I will attempt to partake of this particular Peruvian specialty.

The ruins at Pisac, northeast of Cusco, are very impressive in their magnitude and architecture. Some of it rivaled what we saw at Machu Picchu. We stopped there yesterday afternoon after an exciting ride in a local bus from Ollantaytambo.

We leave for the Amazon on Sunday morning, so I will probably not post again until the evening of the 9th. But then I hope to have lots of fun monkey, bird and rainforesty photos to share.


Anonymous said...

WOW! Just WOW!
Be safe in the AMAZON!
We love you both!!!
p.s. So glad we caught you to CHAT on FB tonight! It made Mom's day to talk to you~even tho' it was via my cell phone thru my computer! She was SO HAPPY we caught you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see Sonja playing with the monkeys. Did she ever tell you about the time she was in the monkey cage at the mall? Love you, Mom

Mel said...

Hi Paul!
I hope we can meet for lunch or some quick birding when you guys get to Lima!
I'm glad that you are enjoying your trip. Machu Picchu is an experience hard to describe, isn't it??
Have fun!! Cuys are not like you picture it ;)

Dianne said...

Paul - found your blog tonight, and boy, and I happy that I did! Machu Pichu is one of my dream destinations, and to see it through your descriptions and your photos was awesome!! Thank you so much for sharing.

Blyde Neser said...

Love your pictures, they all tell a special story..

Robin Robinson said...

LOVE the llahmas. Your compositions are great, wonderful photography

D-Wing said...

Some really interesting photos.

dAwN said...

I see you havent been blogging lately and wondering if you are still in Arizona.
I am arranging a Birders who Blog tweet and chirp bird outing in March ..in patagonia arizona..with other Birders, bloggers..a great way to get out there and bird and meet each other..
all free..just pay for your own food etc.
Check out to see who is already coming..
Hope to see you there..just leave a comment on my blog post if you are interested.

オテモヤン said...