So as many of you many know, Colleen and I were lucky enough to travel to South America over Thanksgiving. This is part one in a three-part blog (for fear of litteraly making your brain explode from awesomeness) with some images from the first 5-and-a-half days of the trip.
Peru is incredible. We spent most of our time in the Cuzco region (the capital of the Inca empire) and went to many ruins in the area. Of course, we also saw Machu Picchu (which fully lives up to the hype). With the help of some trusty friends, we managed to survive (pictures of Colleen sucking down oxygen due to the altitude have been omitted… 🙁 ) and see some amazing things that we wouldn’t have otherwise seen if we hadn’t befriended locals.
From wild Vicuna and rural farmers looking to hold onto their way of life, to the amazing (AMAZING!!) stonework of the Incas and the later Spanish cathedrals and architecture that sits atop much of the ancient Inca capital… everything went beyond expectations. The juxtaposition of modern and fresh next to priceless ancient sites next to pure poverty and squalor was something I’d never seen so pronounced before. I hope the sites can be protected long enough to bring in enough money to truly help some of the least fortunate. (Apparently robbing the Inca stonework to help build your house (or simply because “There’s a bird in there!!”) is a common activity – so common that even we saw it on a few occasions)
One thing that was the most refreshing was how friendly everyone was – much different than most ‘tourist’ places you go. (except the policeman that hauled us to the station wanting a bribe from us – he’s not friendly at all. I only got one shot of him before he spotted me ‘documenting’ from inside the vehicle. Still got you though! And now you are on the dubya-dubya-dubya for all to see. Bwhahaaa) People smiled at our broken Spanish and really put forth an effort to ensure our stay was as good as it could possibly be. Even the llama that almost pushed me off a cliff ended up posing for me; friendly folk, those Peruvians.
I got some amazing panoramas (one nearly 410mpx) and other unique photographs that just don’t hold up when shrunk to 750 pixels wide. I’ll have to find a way to share those somehow.
Oh, and yes, that lady is on a cell phone at Machu Picchu. What’s stranger: her being on a phone in one of the most remote and beautiful places on earth, or me taking a picture of her being on a phone at one of the most remote and beautiful places on earth? 😉