Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Magic and Wonders of Peru

We happened to be in the main square of Cuzco, Peru, called the Plaza de Armas, when a religious procession came through. Different parishes paraded around the square, many carrying religious objects from their churches. They were dressed in colorful and unique costumes, as shown here.
Cuzco is the departure point for the train to Machu Picchu. On our second day at Machu Picchu, we got up very early to hike above it to watch the sunrise. It was magical. Clouds drifted up from the valley below to accent the scene, but the surrounding mountains were clear and not shrouded in clouds as they had been the day before.
This is one of the several temples in the Machu Picchu complex. Many are aligned with the sun to capture the rays of the sun at particular locations on the first day of spring and fall.
Machu Picchu would be a beautiful setting to admire the view, as I am doing here, even if it were not the location of the lost city of the Incas. With this terrain in the area, you can see why the Spanish never found it and never looted it. It was not known to people outside the locals living in the area until Hiram Bingham of Yale University "discovered" it in 1911. He helped himself to whatever artifacts he wanted to take, which is a point of controversy today. At least he preserved the magnificent works that he found and did not melt down the Inca gold as the Spanish did.
We took an arduous trip over rocky, unpaved roads for four hours to travel from Ariquippa to the Colca Canyon, a very remote region known for its condors. We traversed a pass and high Andian plain that was 16,000 feet in elevation (4,876 m.). At a rest stop, we encountered several families who had dressed up their children for photos, and we were only too happy to take some pictures and give them a donation.
The children's lambs were happy to pose as well. We took these photos about 8 years ago (before we used digital cameras). I wonder how this boy is doing today. Hopefully, he is just as happy as he was as a child, sharing his good nature while sitting on the side of a dusty road across a rocky, high desert plateau, too dry to grow any crops, and waiting for the occasional tourist to drive by and stop to take photos.


brattcat said...

Another wonderful set of images from an ancient land and culture.

JM said...

Another highlight on my travels! I'm sure you have felt the same as I did early morning at Machu Picchu. It's absolutely magic, isn't it? I love the top shot at the Cuzco main square too.

Steven (Cavite DP) said...

Just like my friend JM, you guys are just so inspiring! Hope I can visit as much countries and experience so many cultures and live with so many people just like you guys did!

I Love Peru! Definitely on my List! Whenever a Travel show here in the Philippines features Peru, No mater how late it is, I really really wait for it! It's just Magical!

Hope you guys could visit my Country as well! Come to the Philippines, it's more than the usual ;)

God Bless and more power to your blog!


Living In Williamsburg Virginia said...

Wonderful pictures - Peru looks to be a very beautiful place. Love your people pics.
Darryl and Ruth : )

Crazy Tourists said...

One of my dream-trips!! I loved the photos of the Machu Picchu!!

Cezar and Léia said...

Dear Julie,
wow, fabulous trip, wonderful set of pictures, very interesting culture!
Thanks for sharing!

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I wish I were you...and "you" look very much like my sister

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