Machu Picchu 2000


Dara enjoying the view from the ledge above Llactapata, the first major Inca ruin we came across on the trail. Dara enjoying the view from the ledge above Llactapata, the first major Inca ruin we came across on the trail. Above the terraces, clouds and a large black mountain looms. Above the terraces, clouds and a large black mountain looms.
The appearance of a rainbow lends an enchanted touch to the valley. The appearance of a rainbow lends an enchanted touch to the valley. Back on the trail. Back on the trail.
We move on through a strange and spindly grove of trees. We move on through a strange and spindly grove of trees. On the way up to the first pass (4200m), we come across a small group of alpahacas. On the way up to the first pass (4200m), we come across a small group of alpahacas.
Why are those two looking so happy? Could be the lack of oxygen reaching their brains... Why are those two looking so happy?  Could be the lack of oxygen reaching their brains... Finally we arrive at the first pass! Finally we arrive at the first pass!
From here to Machu Picchu, the stone steps of the Inca trail lead the way. From here to Machu Picchu, the stone steps of the Inca trail lead the way. At Paqaymayu, we get an excellent look at this Inca crescent shaped building, identified as an important holy site and astronomical observing post. At Paqaymayu, we get an excellent look at this Inca crescent shaped building,  identified as an important holy site and astronomical observing post.
Dan, Peter, and Dara climbing the trail towards the second pass. Dan, Peter, and Dara climbing the trail towards the second pass. As we continue to climb higher, the clouds fill the valley below us. Here Dara pauses for a breath. As we continue to climb higher, the clouds fill the valley below us.  Here Dara pauses for a breath.
The view from the second pass, where we leave our offerings of mica, feldspar, quartz, and granola. The view from the second pass, where we leave our offerings of mica, feldspar, quartz, and granola. As we descend again, the vegetation becomes larger. Here Dara pauses beneath a spindly tree. As we descend again, the vegetation becomes larger.  Here Dara pauses beneath a spindly tree.
Further down, we see the beginnings of the Peruvian Amazon jungle, and Inca buildings near Sayaqmarka. Further down, we see the beginnings of the Peruvian Amazon jungle, and Inca buildings near Sayaqmarka. The parting of the mist exposes the citadel of Sayaqmarka. The parting of the mist exposes the citadel of Sayaqmarka.

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