This is at the Sacred Plaza, taken from the House of Three Windows, facing west this time, just before we went up to the top of the terraced Intiwatana Hill, where the main attraction, besides the incredible views, is the interesting religious/astronomical sculpture erroneously termed "sundial" (seen via this link to Alan Grinberg's Peru photos site -- bookmark my page to get back, however).
I know this is hard to believe but I was so enraptured up there that I didn't take one picture. Although I'm not a particularly mystical person, while up there I felt as if I'd been there before and come home. It has beautiful vistas in every direction and a very peaceful feel to it. Here's another great shot of the "sundial" from a spectacular series (see large green-colored box at bottom of this page) I just found by Twila Bing of UCLA. Both of the shots give a wonderful sense of the mystery there as well. Browsing these sites is -highly- recommended, but bookmark this page first if you want to return here.
The clickable enlargement of the plaza above is 90k and was scanned/enlarged from an APS 4x12 panoramic (already blown up beyond 4x6), so it's not ultra clear.
Beginning of day's end. Red-orange plants in this photo are found everywhere at this site.
The enlargement is 82k.
This is Machu Picchu after most of the other tourists have left the area on buses for hotels below the mountain or to connect with a train to Cusco. Helicopters are also sometimes available to and from Cusco.
Seeing it this way is highly recommended; it feels more personal and you get a sense of what it was to live there, in the 1400s.
Unfortunately, this photo is underexposed and the middle portion has flare, which I toned down, but it gives the idea of the feel of Machu Picchu when not overrun with others like ourselves.
A familiar sight by now, though before I went there I'd never seen photos of Mt. Putucusi before, actually. Being here is, strangely, a bit like being at the ocean for me; nothing is static. The lighting constantly changes, with the help of clouds that seem to hover nearby during the sunniest times.
This was the last shot I took of Machu Picchu before The Temple of the Sun took me down :-)
The enlargement for this one does give a pretty good idea of how it feels to be there. To see that, click on the photo (111k).
One more chronological page was to come, as Cusco was a delight. However, almost all (except 3) of my shots of that city and Sacsahuaman were lost when I left my camera on the plane to Lima.
As many have noted, it's impossible to show with 2-dimensional photos the beauty of this place. However, to get an idea of the impact it has on many of us, I highly recommend a read of a very effective piece written by Ruth Marie and Jimmy A. Lyons after their visit in July 1998, which they've allowed me to reproduce here. It includes some excellent information about Machu Picchu.
One more chronological page of photos of Peru may be added someday, and a series of other random photo memories will follow it in table format.
We're at day 13 of a 15 day trip and at this point I was on my way to a hospital in Cusco to have my forearm bone re-set. We kept on schedule though, and the Peruvian doctors (first, in the clinic just below Machu Picchu, and then at Cusco) were great. Also had wonderful help from Peruvian people who were very kind and seemed like angels sent, as well as from a young American named Michael at Sacsahuaman.
Next time, *Sacsahuaman and a postcard or two from Cusco*
Photos and text: Copyright ©1997 Andrys Basten
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My photos were taken with the small Canon Elph
The Canon Elph series are cameras about the size of a pack of playing cards.
The newer Canon Elph 2, which I have now, has a sharper lens and more contrast, and has the mid-roll change feature.
Also, here's my review of the older model I used for this Peru series and some words on the newer one. A couple of people had less luck with that model, which gave them problems my new Elph 2 corrects, per Canon.
(The shots I'm in were taken by travel guru M.A. Campbell, including the close-up of the taller chullpa in Sillustani, and those were taken with a Canon EOS650.
(Those photos: Copyright ©1997 M.A. Campbell )
On the very last day, I also used a point & shoot Ricoh Shotmaster backup on four shots.
The photos were scanned with an HP Scanjet 4C from small prints processed by Sarbers in Berkeley and Kodak.
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