Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu sits at a lower altitude than Cusco - thank goodness! No more headaches. No more shortness of breath or dizziness. No more nausea. Yahoo!

We arrived in Aguas Calientes (AC) by train.

Trains are the lifeblood of AC, transporting local citizens, goods, and tourists to and from civilization. Tracks run directly through the business sector, and trains have the right-of-way.

(If ya hear one of those things comin', leg it off the tracks, pronto!)

There are no cars in AC. Just trains, legs, and stairs. (Yippee-skippy. More stairs. Ha!)

There is a bus service up the mountain to Machu Picchu, though! We rode up in the dark, which was rather disconcerting. It's easy to imagine sheer drops in the dark. Ulp.

Once at the top, daylight came quickly and we headed through the entry gate.

Arriving early meant we could take our time and breathe in the beauty of the site without being pushed along by the crowd.

Our perspective changed every few steps. All other thoughts were replaced with, "ohhh, wowww", and "wowww". (Eloquent, I know. ha!)

This is the view down to Aguas Calientes. Wayyy down!

And this is my favourite llama shot of the day!

Llamas are the "lawnmowers" that keep the grounds trimmed and tidy.

They can also cause traffic jams, as you can see here. (Llamas have the right-of-way, too!)

Derrick (our son), Brynne (his partner), and Brynne's folks climbed the tall peak in the middle of my photo ↓↓ while Chuck and I wandered the ruins. They said it was amazing, but it would have been a thing of nightmares for me. Nothankyouverymuch. I'll just look at their pictures!

I think I did well just keeping my eyes open during the trip back down the mountain!

We counted 14 or 15 switchbacks, and the trail was narrow enough that buses had to pull over as far as possible and wait for oncoming buses to pass.


I read that true courage isn't being fearless. Courage is overcoming the fear and doing things anyway. My fear of heights is visceral, so this was no small task for me. But I did it!

Living my mantra - Try, Learn, & Grow!



  1. Oh, my goodness, Peru! Good job making it happen! These are gorgeous pictures! I’m quite envious.

  2. Absolutely stunning, Carole. I love that you have so many raw, pure photographs with no people in them... getting up early seems very, very worth it. And how awesome to be able to face your fear and experience something like this with your family.

  3. Wowwwww!! Gorgeous photos! Congratulations on your courage. Sounds like the rewards were totally worth it :)

  4. So jealous! I love Machu Picchu and would like to go some day.

  5. Sometimes all you can say is, "Wow!" (Or, "Oh, wow!") Your photos are incredible. I hope you're going to make a Shutterfly book or something!

  6. What gorgeous photos! You must have gotten up there early - I see only one photograph with people in it. Congrats and pat yourself on the back for challenging yourself to deal with heights. That's huge!

  7. Beautiful photo, for a beautiful country. And congratulations on your courage!


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