Tuesday, November 17, 2015

My journey to Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu, Peru - a place my wife and I have been wanting to go desperately for the past 8 years. Yet every year we kept on postponing it due to the fear of getting sick from the high altitudes, especially when all our friends that went came back telling us how sick they got.

This spring Tony, a good friend of ours was planning a trip to Patagonia and offered after his trip to meet us in Peru and guide us to Machu Picchu. He's not only been to Central America numerous times but has been to Machu Picchu 4 times. We knew we were in good hands with him so we jumped on this opportunity right away.

The journey to Machu Picchu was a long one.
A full day travel from from Boston to Panama City then a night in Lima.
Next early morning a flight from Lima to Cusco.
Then from Cusco a long bus, car or train ride to the village of Machu Picchu.
Being able to climb to the top of Machu Picchu finally took place on the 4th day from departure!
I guess the difficulty in getting there is also what makes this trip so memorable too.

9 days in total - I was able to fill up an entire Stillman and Birn Alpha sketchbook.
Here are some from during the trip to Machu Picchu.

There were numerous places to see during our trip from Cusco to Machu Picchu.
Moray was an enormous site with circular depressions created at different heights. It is said that the the Inca's created this site as an agricultural experimentation site to see what crops grow better at which altitudes.

Here we walked down to the site and back up and I started getting a huge headache.
It was 3,500M at this location and the first time in my life that I experienced a slight altitude sickness.
I'm so glad it wasn't too bad though.
It's said that coca tea helps with altitude sickness so I drank a lot of this. Real tasty too.

Awana Kancha
At a place called Awana Kancha, they had a number of naturally made color pigments on display. These colors were used mostly to color their hand woven textiles but for me it was a great opportunity to try painting on the Alpaca's that I had just drawn at the same place.


Later at Piscac, a neighboring town, a street vendor was selling powdered colors and demonstrating on how its used. This was the only souvenir I regretted later on in not purchasing!

On our 4th day after leaving home, we finally made it to the Machu Picchu mountain top.
It's early in the morning and there were already lots of people patiently waiting for the fog to clear up.

The fog then started to clear up and Bam!! The world famous view finally appeared!!

A IIlama even sat in front of me just just long to capture her before she got up and walked away.

Later we climbed the taller mountain seen in the background called the Huayna Picchu Mountain.
Over an hour of climbing and was Exhausting! but was well worth the hard work.

The number call outs shows areas that I wanted to remember later on. #4 is the location where I sketched the previous scene and #10 is Me.

Here I'm totally exhausted from climbing and excited from sketching at the same time.
What an amazing place!

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