Peru - Part 2: Las Incas
The ancient Incans built a convenient train.
Deep into the heart of the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
It takes us to a trail head.
Low on oxygen, we trek continuously uphill.
Everything photo-worthy is above us.
Like these ruins!
And those ruins!
We get higher and higher.
Until we reach the infamous Wiñaywayna.
If you look straight, it’s just mountain peaks.
But there’s a terraced farming village on this peak.
Its ancient stone walls still standing.
We drop down into the ruins.
For photo opportunities.
And the view from below.
But regret it when we have to climb back up.
We reach the top eventually, a bit winded.
Should have just stayed up here…
At least there are llamas to console us.
And after a few hours, we reach a new destination.
Something famous. What is it? Macho Pikachu?
It’s too late to catch Pikachus, so we overnight in a nearby village.
In the morning, it rains.
We ponder what this means for our adventure.
Our tour guide says not to worry. Back up the mountain!
But it’s not looking good for our tourist photos.
Machu Picchu peaks out from behind the clouds.
The taller sister mountain, Huayna Picchu, remains within them.
As the clouds thin on our peak, we head in.
And see walls and huts.
And see llamas.
And see terraces.
Katy is satisfied, and wants to climb a mountain.
Despite a cloudy outlook, we decide to give it a go.
Up Huayna Picchu.
Sometimes some assistance is needed.
But the clouds have lifted, and we reach the peak of Huayna Picchu.
Brandon hangs on for dear life, and looks down.
Down to the tiny Machu Picchu so far beneath us.
It is intensely satisfying.
But it is also time to go.
Down through a cave.
Through a crevice.
And, eventually, out of Machu Picchu.
But the Incans left plenty of other things behind.
Not drones, the Incans had no drones.
But muddy terraces, yes. They did enjoy terraces.
And these are particularly cool terraces.
A whole mountainside of dirty pools.
And that’s not snow on the barriers.
It’s solid mineral deposits.
They irrigated the terraces with clay irrigation pipes.
And when the water started to turn white…
They harvested the salt out of the pools.
It is forbidden to play in the pools.
Since they are still commercially operated today.
All manner of salt-related things are sold nearby.
Not far from the salt mines there is a field.
We explore it after dinner.
Brandon takes Katy’s photo from above.
To capture the ancient Incan ruins below.
That is the Incans.