Man at work – Paracas national Reserve
…I found myself staring at one of the most beautiful man made things ever built. A tribute to mankind… a human masterpiece. A melange of nature and natural structures altered and assembled by Inca’s…
I was most definitely shocked and in awe, goose bumped and gob smacked when the sun’s gentle yet persuading rays kindly ushered away the thick and extremely stubborn fog that had taken a strong stranglehold over the Inca Temple of Machu Picchu. Tears of joy slowly streamed down my cheeks. I found myself staring at one of the most beautiful man made monuments. A tribute to mankind… a human masterpiece. A melange of nature and natural materials altered and assembled by Inca’s into timeless structures.
Letty and I had an early start that day. W woke up at 4:00am to get our passes and catch the bus ups to the mountain top.
I must admit that leading up to this grandiose event, an overwhelming sense of bitter disappointment had come over me. We had travelled over 15,000 klms to see this timeless monument, and at 6:00am we could barely see past the tips of my shoes.
When the clouds dissipated into thin air at 8:30am and what lay beyond became visible, I asked myself – what were they thinking? What could possibly drive this far advanced Civil Engineering civilization to such extreme? I take my hat of to you, O Incas! Words can not describe how I felt that day, and I still feel the same now.
These few photos do not depict Machu Picchu in all its grandiosity. But will hopefully motivate you to make your way to Cuzco, and up the mountain side to Ollantaytambo, Aguas Calientes and Machu/Huayna Picchu.
“… If you wish to drive through Peru, you have to be very courageous. Actually, you must be extremely courageous and have a death wish. You must also have great big balls of steel, especially if you’re in a sedan, always give right of way to larger vehicles – this includes buses, trucks, mini-vans, mini-buses and donkey pulled chariots…”
So the second leg of the trip saw us drive in a northerly direction through the following towns:
- Lima -> Barranca -> Trujillo -> Huanchaco -> Chan Chan -> Chiclayo -> Lambayeque -> Trujillo -> Otuzco -> Trujillo –> Tortugas -> Lima.
The photos might look appealing, but I must put a strong “health and safety” warning out there. If you wish to drive through Peru, you have to be very courageous. Actually, you must be extremely courageous and have a death wish. You must also have great big balls of steel, especially if you’re in a sedan, always give right of way to larger vehicles – this includes buses, trucks, mini-vans, mini-buses and donkey pulled chariots. Most drivers have a lack of respect for the little people. Do not drive at night, and if you must, drive at 60 kph at most. We saw a black car with its headlights turned off overtaking a double decker bus. I tried to honk, flash my lights, do the finger, yell abuse from my car window and I was still forced onto the emergency shoulder “lane”.
Aside from those mishaps and unfortunate holiday adrenalin rushes, the overall experience was quite awesome (if you made it out alive). People were friendly and helpful, and they loved to stop for a chat.
On another note, I found the “Museo del Señor de Sipan” in Lambayeque to be absolutely spectacular. The old ruins of Chan Chan were something from another planet – reminiscent of the sandmen from Star Wars… and Otuzco with its religious tradition – devoted followers of the Virgin “de la puerta” (of the door/gate) who crawl 70 kilometres on their knees from Trujillo to Otuzco…
.. and here are the photos that you’ve all been waiting for:
My beautiful wife and I travelled to Peru and we visited many places, saw many things and ate countless Peruvian dishes… The photos from the trip will be posted in two parts as there are way too many photos to post in a single blog entry.
The first leg of the trip took us on this wonderful journey:
- Lima -> San Vincente de Cañete -> Lunahuaná -> Chincha -> El Carmen -> Ica -> Arequipa -> El Cañon del Colca -> Chivay -> Arequipa -> Puno -> Lake Titicaca (Los Uros, Amantani, Taquile) -> Puno -> Cusco -> Ollantaytambo -> Aguas Calientes -> Machu Picchu -> Cusco – > Lima.
The photos below show the above trip in chronological order.
“Silent women? Go figure!”
If you enjoy peace and quiet, then you’ve probably not come to the right place. Going back hundreds of years ago, it may have been one of the most peaceful places on the planet as it was full of nuns who had vowed silence. Silent women? Go figure! These days, the Santa Catalina Monastery is full of annoying and loud tourists that get in your way when you try to take photos.
Apart from the above, I love old style Spanish architecture and gardenscape design concepts. I had a blast taking photos of pots, walls and doors. Yes, believe it. I also gawked in dumbfoundedness at the way they (not sure if it was the nuns or modern day gardeners) used lantana plants to decorate some walls (as climbing vines) as they are considered a weed and pest in Australia and most gardeners can’t cut these down fast enough.