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My 2014 trip was a visit to Peru, South America.
Besides visiting the world famous lost Incan city of Machu Picchu, I also visited the lesser known Incan city of Choquequirao, trekking 8 days on ancient Incan trails.
Here are trinkets from my trip to Peru. From left to right: Inca Kola (Peru's national soft drink) bottles, a hand carved gourd, and Peruvian coins. These can be found on my desk at work.
|Here's a map to the route we trekked, starting from Cachora, through to Choquequirao, over the Yanama Pass, and ending at Machu Picchu|
|Our trek began in the city of Cusco, Peru. Cusco was the capital of the Incan Empire in the 13th Century. At an altitude of 3400 meters, I was feeling the effects of high altitude the day I arrived. Here is the city from a viewpoint.|
|Here I am with the Sacred Valley of the Incas behind me. This fertile valley was an important area for maize production for the Incas.|
|Alpacas; the wool from these Alpacas are used for clothing and blankets.|
|Village women spinning wool from Alpacas, with the market in the background.|
|We visited Incan archaeolgical site at Ollantaytambo. Pictured here are some precision cut and fitted rocks on one of the walls.|
|On our way to the town of Cachora, we had to take an alternate road as the main road was washed out. Unfortunately, our bus got stuck. After a couple of hours of digging and pushing, we were on our way!|
|Here's the trekking team photo, at the start of the trek at Huayhuacalle. From left to right: Nick, Phil, Wally, Stan, Allan, Chany, Emily, Jeff, LaVonne, Wendy, Heidi, Matt, Steve, Jackass|
|After a long day of trekking (mostly uphill), I've arrived at the Choquequirao Park entrance. Lots of rules!|
|Our camp at Choquequirao, with Steve getting ready for a hike. Being on the side of a mountain, our tents sat on terraces with little room out the front door of the tent. Throughout the trip, our tents were rarely set on level ground.|
|A view of the Choquequirao Main Plaza below and the Hanan Plaza across from the observatory. Much of the site still lies hidden under the forest.|
|Me on a Choquequirao agricultural terrace with Llama Rock art. Generally, the Incans didn't decorate the terraces, but a Choquequirao, they did in a few spots.|
|A view of the valley looking down from the Choquequirao terraces. In the distance below is Phil and LaVonne. It was very steep; quite a feat, but neccessity for agricultural capability on the side of a mountain.|
|Here I am on the Choquequirao Hanan Plaza, with the Main Plaza below and the Observatory across in the distance. The Incans built this city on the saddle between two peaks.|
|Leaving Choquequirao, we encountered the Pinchiunuyoj Terraces. This is another site that has been left relatively undisturbed. The trekking team can be seen resting. our next camp was on the mountain in the background, with the campsite obscured by the clouds in this picture. The zig zagging trail we were to take can seen. This was a tough day of trekking!|
|The trails sometimes clung to the side of the mountain. Here, Emily and Stan are walking on a narrow part of the trail with a large drop to the river below.|
|The altitude at the Yanama Pass was 4635 meters, as shown by my phone's GPS. It was foggy and snowing at the pass.|
|We noticed these neat looking butterflies liked mule dung.|
|Here I am at Machu Picchu. Spectacular view.|
|Machu Picchu - Main Plaza with Huayna Picchu in the background.|
|Machu Picchu - Me with my pack (notice the purple poncho hanging off my pack; that will come in handy in a few hours!).|
|We were now off to visit the Amazon rainforest. Here's the boat that took us to the Muyana Lodge. Looks like we're going to have bananas.|
|These were the huts we stayed in at the Muyana Lodge. In the rainy season, the river would rise up and submerge the ground below the huts. Yes, that's our laundry hanging on the rails (our clothes were dirty from the trek).|
|We would take boat rides along the Yanayacu River (a tributary to the Amazon River). Here are a pair of cormorants which fish on the river.|
|A view of the Yanayacu River from the boat.|
|We went fishing for pirahna (a carnivorous fish) using chicken parts as bait. Here's the pirahna I caught; looks like I'll be eating tonight!|
|During a night boat ride, the guide caught a caiman , which is basically a small alligator. Here I am wrestling the caiman.|
|A village house on the Yanayacu River. The house is very rustic, and is built on stilts for the flooding of the rainy season.|
|I'm back in Lima, at the Plaza Mayor. Peruvian government buildings surround the Plaza, as well as Lima's City Hall.|
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Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments about this trip or travelling in general!
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