This particular post should have been after a post that was unfortunately never written about the Worlds Track & Field championships held August 2015 in Lyon France. Instead the last post was about my Lumbar Stenosis issues that started on May 1st. The original idea was to be in great condition, attend the Lyon Championships then in September head off to Peru with my daughter Sonya and walk the three day Laures Trail ending at Machu Picchu. These plans were made and the airfare/Tour package for Machu Picchu was purchased in March. The back injury put the entire trip to Peru questionable. After lot of good medical advise and physical therapy I felt comfortable to make the trip but forgo the 3day walk. I could not afford another fall that might incur more damage to my back and right shoulder. I would suggest to any one that is ready to visit Machu Picchu to please do so even if you feel like you have physical handicaps of any kind. Just be careful, keep your eyes on the ground and go slow, you will have plenty of time.
I would highly suggest The Valencia Tour Company www.valenciatravelcusco.com Also our guide used this book which I used in this blog for references: Peru Machupicchu Author Saydi Maria Negron Romero www.saydinegron.com
This photo above was the view from the room window at our Cusco Hotel. Arriving very early we enjoyed a much needed sleep at the hotel making up from our three hour layover sleep in Lima.
So in the afternoon we were off to the absolutely beautiful Plaza de Armas. We were lucky enough to be there on Sunday where in another park were the every Sunday’s street food vendors. Good food great price. Close by was the San Pedro Mercado where the shopping began.
A very few of the hundreds of different kinds of corn.
The Inkas dried their potatoes to preserve……..
Inka woman cleaning the wool before dying. On the left are the various plants used for the dyes.
After a dye is chosen and rubbed together with a worm from a certain cactus then boiled the spun wool is added to the boiling water for a time and out comes the dyed wool.
I got a chance to talk to one of the women because I was so curious. She assured me that the clothes Inca women were wearing that day they wear every day, all Inca women in whatever work they do. Of course the Inca Women now also get paid for being Inca Women meaning they are all available for photographs.
A very common walkway usually going up to something very good.
Getting ready for a celebration. Look at the sidewalk; almost every thing the Peruvians built had a story or significance to the earth or stars.
Behind me is a beautiful old Spanish Church, no photos inside permitted.
Smiling is a good thing this place is magical….
Most streets are narrow in the mountains……..
After around one a hour drive from Cusco we can see the beginning of The Sacred Valley. My eye is focusing on what appears to be a dirt Track but a track none the less, wow what a place to train at this altitude.
Ottantaytambo in Inkan times it was another one of so many multi-functional “villages”. It was administrative, military, social, economic and religious center..
This photo was taken from Ottantaytambo. Directly across the valley there are the two red circles. Please look closely, the one on the right are the warehouses for agricultural products. The agricultural bodegas were built up high for the cooler climate and winds. On the left in the oval are two carved faces and at the top is the chuku or hat.
Next day, I think Day #3, right out the door of our hotel we turn right and walk up hill for an hour to Saqsaywaman – The Royal House of the Sun.
Here is Sonya with baby llama or maybe it’s a goat, hey they are both cute, wooly little animals. Do you know the difference between llamas and alpacas? Llamas have longer necks than Alpacas. The guides told us that and they must know.
You loose track of time sitting on one place for it seems like forever, but there is so much more to see.
No I already asked our guide, this was not a football field. Ceremonial dances were done here.
This is one of the bounders with nine angles. There are some with eleven angles. See how big these boulders are. Unlike Machu Picchu all the rocks here at Sacsayhyamian were transported in from areas of the various tribes that lived in and around Cusco. These were the Incas that took care of the crops. Most of the food storage for Cusco was kept here above Cusco at Sacsayhyamian where the king lived. Oh and I forgot to tell you about the word Inca, the word Inca actually means King. But all the Incas were obviously not Kings but maybe they considered all living human Incas as Kings even though there were different status. *It has been brought to my attention that I may need to research this last Inca thing. That could have been a rumor started by the invading Spaniard’s.
This is the symbol of the Inca cross or Chakana or Andean cross. There is still a disparity of criteria and opinions of the meanings and function. Most say that it is the Andean vision of the Universe and Pachamama or Mother Earth as well as diverse shapes and crosses observed by humans in the sky.
This photo was where the Incas worshiped the sun at Saqsaywaman..
I forgot the battery to my new Sony camera so every photo and video was taken with an Apple product. I was surprised how good the iphone takes photos even zooms, a bit better than the ipad. This is the Plaza de Armas in Cusco taken from above at Saqsaywaman.
Everywhere you look something else comes up to gaze with wonder how the Incas did all this in just 200 years?
Close to the Saqsaywaman gate there was a tiny restaurant that served just the one meal of the day One 4-course lunch, soup-tea-main plate and desert for $4.00. A local couple came after we did so we knew we were in the right place. View of the entire Cusco Valley, Gratis…
At our hotel the night we all arrived at Aguas Calientes we met Lindsey and Matthew. We were supposed to do the Laures 3 day tour with them but after my back injury progressing to shoulder, Sonya recommended that we stay in Cusco for three days. So the night before this photo we met up with Lindsey and Matthew. That very night they had just checked in at the hotel after the three Laures day trek. I came out of my room and saw them for the first time; they both looked like they had just walked out of the cover of a sports magazine, both fresh as daises.
Aguas Calientes the last stop before Machupicchu.
View from right below the Hot Springs down to the town.
This is the Inca statue describing life; with the Falcon in the sky as life to come, the cougar as present life on earth and the snake in the ground as the past life.
For only his photo I’m starting at the end it just shows the winding road to get to Machupicchu.
For the first several minutes you just cannot get your eyes away from this indescribable place.
As you walk through this maze of construction there are few words to explain the feeling it gives you.
How steep how can ya go…grow…..
Tight and straight lines.
A religious or sacred area.
“The Tempe of the Sun.” I really wished I had taken more photos of the rocks that were cut at 90 degrees and places so close together. Those building were built for the wealthy and the religions /sacred area. The stones that fit but rough around the edges were built more for bodegas and the poor.
Mother earths temple or Royal Tomb. Given its location (Under the Temple of the sun) it’s unique architecture unique in the whole city, and the presence of the stepped cross symbol it was a temple dedicated to Mother Earth or Pachamama.
The Incas had no problems building around natural rock.
More construction around natural rock..
“A quarry”; the rocks in the center are signs of Machu Picchu being unfinished.
I only had to wait a short time to get this photo with no tourists standing at the very end. What a beautiful walk way.
Coca leaves grow in warm and humid areas. It is still considered magical and sacred in Inkan times. It was a product of the Elite’s exclusive consumption in the trading system. It possesses alimentary products we need on a daily basis to keep us in good health as calcium, iron, phosphorous A, B12, E, vitamins and minerals.
M y younger daughter Moni and her fiancé Macho had visited Machu Picchu almost to the day a year ago. Moni said to me before my visit “papi at some part of this day please put your camera away, find a place to sit and just take it all in meditate if you will.” So we had gone the long way around Machu Picchu and below I saw a trail. Our guide doubled back with just me and showed me how I could get to this little trail at the lower outer edge of all construction of Machu Picchu. The photo above with the famous rock and the valley below is all I could see. I found a little house that could have been food storage or a small dwelling. After the camera and pack was put away and I was seated on a comfortable grassy spot that I think had a south westerly direction, I’m still not sure how much difference direction makes in medication all I know is the position I was in was what I found and there were no other places with the view I had. I closed my eyes and just waited. I was not sure what to expect here but Machu Picchu already had the feel of magic so I was already winning. After about 10 to 15 minutes all the distant sounds of the tourists faded and all I could hear was the sound of insects buzzing all the tones those Insects do. Then after maybe 20 minutes after the colors passed through my closed eyes the darkness then the white light I heard a female voice chanting in Quechua the Inkan dialect. In the beginning I was afraid to open my eyes for fear it might really be in my mind. Finally as she ended I opened my eyes and sure enough it was a real person. I thanked her and closed my eyes again. In a few minutes I heard her walk over and she very softly asked me “would you mind if I sang another chant?” of course I was very happy to listen again. Then I remembered that her boy friend had exactly the same mini Ipad that I had put away. So again what do I have l to loose? I asked her if I could also make a video as well and she was happy that I wanted to. So what are the chances of on that day at that time at that exact spot would this happen? Were the stars in alignment, were some of my early 60’s days in San Francisco being repeated? Later I find out that the girl is from Australia. Her brother has lived in Aguas Calientes for 4 years and she has been there for 4 months. Her brother is teaching her Cuechua. I feel as there is not much more to say. Well actually I have a lot to say but in many cases what I say is either misinterpreted or not understood at all so I’ll just stop here. To this day it’s been over a month now, the entire stay in Cusco was enchanting but this day at Machu Picchu continues to pass through my thoughts more than once a day. It was truly magical and returning is all I can think about. I hope you enjoy. Note: The only way I could download the video onto WordPress was through YouTube. After the 1 min 54 sec chant I guess because YouTube saw the subject was Machu Picchu they added a very well known Inca song. I like the addition but t was not of my doing.