On the Trail to Machu Picchu

On the Trail to Machu Picchu
Canon Powershot A80, f/5.6, 1/80 sec., 11mm

This image goes back to the late spring, early summer of 2006, when my wife and I did a two-week trip to Peru, spending a week hiking in the Andes on the way to Machu Picchu. This trip more than anything else got me interested in photography as something more than quick travel snapshots.

If I remember right, this is our tent near sunset the night before we hiked past Phuyupatamacra and Wiñawayna, two old fortresses and rest areas for travellers during the era of the Inca empires.

This was near the end of our week on the trail. We did several days of hiking before we picked up the classic Inca Trail. At one point, the day we hiked over a 16,000 foot pass, I got sick with the worst case of diarrhea I’ve ever had. (At some point on the trip, all of us tourists got sick.)  We ate well on the trip. But I came home weighing less than 170 pounds for the first time in a decade.

By the time we got to this campsite, and as we finished the hike to Machu Picchu, I was better. It’s the most glorious place I’ve ever slept.

For this trip, I’d bought my first digital camera, a Canon Powershot A80–a point and shoot, with a 3 megapixel sensor. I think I could do manual adjustments with it, but probably rarely did. I used it for one more trip, to Wyoming, hiking in the Teton range and climbing Grand Teton itself. A year later, in November 2007, I bought my first DSLR.

If I remember right, I did all the adjustments to this picture with Picasa, a free online service of Google.  I’ve added a couple more pictures from that same part of the trip, images of the fortresses that I mentioned earlier and one of my wife and I at Machu Picchu itself.

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