Wonders of the World #1 Machu Picchu, Peru (Day 9 & 10)

Like a beacon this lost citadel rises from the clouds. Wayna Picchu stands majestically above it and the Urubamba river flows beneath. We left the hotel in Aguas Calientes (the closest town to Machu Picchu) at 4.30am to begin the … Continue reading

Day Seven – Deeper into the Sacred Valley, Ollantaytambo Peru 16-01-2014

As the Spaniards invaded Peru 500 years ago they pushed the Inca’s deeper into the sacred valley, west from Cusco. The Inca rebels set up base and fortifications at the perfect location in Ollantaytambo – with its steep cliffs around the river valley it was a tough place to assault, as the Spanish conquistadors found out when they arrived in the town to be met from all sides with a hail of spears and arrows. We found a more subdued welcome upon arrival in the sleepy village square. For many this is a quick stop before boarding a train to Machu Picchu, or beginning a trek, but it well worth spending a night or two here, enjoying the cobbled traditional Inca town layout, the gushing river, the village market and of course Incan ruins remaining on the steep hillsides.

Las Salinas (Salt Pans), Sacred Valley, Peru

Las Salinas (Salt Pans), Sacred Valley, Peru

Las Salinas (Salt Pans), Sacred Valley, Peru

We hired a taxi to pick us up from the Hotel (Sol) at 5am to get out to the Salinas (Salt Pans) for dawn, the trouble with being in this part of the world in January is that despite it being their summer there are a lot of overcast days. Frustrating but I will trade a week of them for one good session at Machu Picchu at the weekend…

I met Josephina in the small marketplace in Ollantaytambo, she was sitting with her family at their stall, the picture below is of her sister Edgar. (Both shot with a Nikon 135mm f/2 Prime lens at f/2.8.)

Portrait of Edgar, Ollantaytambo, Sacred Valley, Peru

Portrait of Edgar, Ollantaytambo, Sacred Valley, Peru

Portrait of Josephina in traditional dress, Ollantaytambo, Sacred Valley, Peru

Portrait of Josephina in traditional dress, Ollantaytambo, Sacred Valley, Peru

Street scene, Ollantaytambo, Sacred Valley, Peru

Street scene, Ollantaytambo, Sacred Valley, Peru

Day Six – The Sacred Valley, Peru 15-01-2014

Another 4:45am alarm bell goes off, the destination – the same as yesterday at dusk, hoping to get some clearer light to do justice to the spectacular sight of the Pisac Ruins. 25 Sols pays for a taxi one way … Continue reading

Day Five – Pisac, Peru 14-01-2014

Young girls in traditional dress, Pisac Textiles Market, Sacred Valley, Peru

Up early again, this time heading east from the lodgings in Cusco, the sky looks overcast from the bedroom window but it might be worth heading out, I walk down the pathways and come across a viewpoint looking towards these … Continue reading