In 1973 we made our first diving cruise through the Galapagos Islands. It was a thrilling adventure, for all the reasons the Galapagos are so world-famous. These are widely scattered volcanic outposts, many with massive volcanic cones and extensive lava fields.
At every landfall, one sees representatives of the endemic species which developed because of these islands’ isolation. Charles Darwin’s observations during the visit by the H.M.S. Beagle are playing out right in front of every visitor who merely walks about.
Different island environments are home to different species for a constant kaleidoscope of photo subjects. The biggest complaint that I received from passengers on our two-week voyages was that ‘the cruises are too short!’
After three cruises in the volcanic islands, I added a trip to Peru so that clients could see one of the wonders of the world. The Inca Civilization vanished centuries ago, and the city of Macchu Picchu and its 200,000 inhabitants were forgotten for 500 years.
Then, in 1915, a scholar named Hiram Bingham was doing research in Peru, moving along in the Urubamba River that runs beneath these peaks. A native guide apparently mentioned that there was a lost city on top of the peak, and Bingham decided to investigate. The rest, as they say, is history.
Macchu Picchu is reached via a switchback railroad that departs from Cuzco. This city is an experience in itself, sitting 12,000 feet above sea level in the high Andes. It is a wonderland of cathedrals and churches, and an exciting place to walk around enjoying both the architecture and the people.
The railroad brings guests to the foot of Macchu Picchu’s peak, where buses navigate a scenic switchback road up to the city. As you will see in the photos, just walking in Macchu Picchu is an experience never forgotten. 200,000 people grew crops in vast terraces which could not seen from below on the river. There are few experiences on earth to match waking up in the morning and looking out the window at the Sun coming up over the high Andes.
Towering 2,500 feet higher than Macchu Picchu is the companion peak known as Huayna Picchu. The climb up Huayna Picchu to gaze down on the Lost city is another unforgettable, incandescent experience. is another unforgettable experience, one I was fortunate to survive since I am prone to altitude sickness.
And finally, on our first visit we rode the Russian-built helicopter from Macchu Picchu back to Cuszo rather than taking the train. While it is of course a splendid ride (especially for photography), we were constantly worried just who was doing the maintenance on this thing, and what do they use for spare parts?
We download a small library of images to display on each of these gallery pages. That takes a number of seconds, but we think you will very much enjoy the result!
View from Huayna Picchu
Cuzco, Peru - Flying from Macchu Picchu
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