Wednesday, 20 October 2010

The Past Week in Brief 2 - Machu Picchu

Before the archaeological wonders, a bird.

This gorgeous creature is the Andean Cock of the Rock.  We´ve seen them once before in Ecuador but that involved getting up at 4 am in the morning and climbing half way down a mountainside of mud.  This one flew over our heads and landed in a stream to bathe within 5 mins of us arriving at a small eco-reserve outside Machu Picchu village.  Why doesn´t this lovely place get a mention in the Rough Guide to Peru?  It´s called Los Jardines de Mandor and is 1hour and bit walk from MP village, in the direction of the road to the Inca site.

At the same spot, we also had a pair of Green Jays cavorting in the trees overhead.  No photo I m afraid.  We visited in the early afternoon so the birds were relatively low key.  Would have loved to have visited early next morning but we had to be elsewhere.

The Inca city of Machu Picchu from neighbouring peak called Huayna Picchu - see more of climb involved to get this photo below. 

Michael and our guide Manual beginning to dry out after our 2 hour tour of the site in pouring rain.  Photographer had just removed his rain poncho at his point.

MJC surveys the ruins and Huayna Picchu peak we are about to ascend.  The one to his right.

90 minutes of sweat, fear and vertigo later.

Going down was even more horrible

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