Jul 20 11

Machu Picchu

by Emily Benjamin

I knew nothing of Machu Picchu until about 5 years ago, when a friend of a friend mentioned a holiday there. I remained completely ignorant of this mysterious Incan empire amongst the mountains until planning this trip, but quickly realised this may be paradise for a photographer. When the sun shines you can see for miles, with the sun hitting the terraced edges and creating dark mysterious shadows. Or get up early and see the mountains in mist, with early morning sunshine trying desperately to pierce the thick cloud. Sigh. Sounds so dramatic, doesn’t it? It was. Absolutely gorgeous, and so worth the long walk and early starts. Oh, and a hint to anyone intending to visit – ask your guide to have you at the Sun Gate by the afternoon, and Machu Picchu itself for the following morning – it was a real treat to avoid the crowds!

Filed Under → Travel
Jul 18 11

Inca Trail

by Emily Benjamin

And so it begins! We were up at 5am for a train out of Ollantaytambo, and at Kilometre 104 we jumped off to begin our trek to Machu Picchu. The skies were clear, the air was cold, and we were in for a good 14km hike, from 2000m above sea level to 2700m – and most of that ascension was in the first 5km. It was a tiring walk but absolutely worth it, with amazing sights and landscapes the whole way along. And then, at about 1pm, we arrived at the Sun Gate, for our first glimpse of Machu Picchu!

Filed Under → Travel
Jul 15 11

Cusco

by Emily Benjamin

Cusco was once the home of the Incan Empire. A long, deep valley, filled with red-roofed houses and uneven, narrow, two-way streets.┬áIt’s here in Cusco that the Sacred Valley begins, at the end of which lies one of the new seven wonders of the world, Machu Picchu. But before we started our trek into the Andes, we had a couple of days here to eat some local cuisine (guinea pig) check out some Incan sights (Sacsayhuaman) enjoy a festival or two in Plaza San Blas and get sorted pre-trek (thank you to my massage therapist at Encantada Boutique Hotel, I feel much better!). All in all, Cusco was a really delightful place with lovely people, fabulous weather and lots to see – and we will surely visit again.

Filed Under → Travel
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