Jul 14, 2014

Machu Picchu

I think one of the reasons it took me so long to edit and post these images (taken last November, eek!) was that I didn't feel like these were that special per se, even though the experience was once in a lifetime. I mean that you can find hundreds or thousands of stunning images of Machu Picchu from countless travel editorials (for example, these from Cereal Magazine), and I felt these were lacking a sort of Alice factor. Not to mention, they don't quite capture the feeling of really being there. Nonetheless, I felt it was an experience worth sharing.

One thing I didn't expect was just how many people were exploring the grounds all at once. It was practically as crowded as Disney World. Since I haven't seen the inside of a gym since 2009, even just going around the grounds was a bit challenging for me. When Jose (our wonderful travel companion from LAN Airlines) and I tried to "hike" to the Sun Gate, it was a total fail. We made it to the halfway point, stopped in defeat to catch our breaths, and said forget about it. I think that if I didn't have my heavy-ass Canon and 24-70mm around my neck and a frighteningly limited supply of water, I could have possibly made it. From what I remember, there was no way to get water once you were inside the grounds, and to use the bathroom, you had to exit (which was down some pretty grueling stairs) and come back (up those damn stairs again). Can you tell I'm terrible at this outdoorsy travel stuff? Hell, I had to buy sneakers just for this trip!







Part of me definitely regrets not making it up to the Sun Gate. We were also traveling with Pavia Rosati from Fathom, and she was able to get up there (probably in the amount of time that it took us to make the halfway point). One of the special things about the Sun Gate is that it's the first real spot where hikers doing the full Inca trail (which takes four days) can spot the ruins. I can only imagine what that must feel like after the long hike. I think Pavia also went on the Inca Bridge – apparently it's a dangerous enough attraction that you need to sign in and out (I guess so they know you made it out alive??).







Some day it would be great to get back there (I can only hope I'm in better shape then) and do all the hikes, especially the one up Wayna Picchu!

23 comments :

  1. Such beautiful scenery. They look very special to me! :) Glad you shared them.

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  2. I don't want to say you're mistaken on your own blog Alice ;) , but these are incredibly stunning! Those first few especially, I definitely see the Alice stamp. So glad you did share!!

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  3. This is my partner's dream and we hope to one day make it there. I just hope that one day I am fit enough to make it. These short little legs of mine can't travel very far before they give way

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  4. Alice, these photos are great! I've always wondered, how exactly do you edit your DSLR photos?

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    1. It depends on the photos but usually I like to keep it simple with a strong contrast curve and basic adjustments in Lightroom. I tend to like images cooler and punchy. I've fiddled with VSCO filters as well.

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  5. Incredibly beautiful pictures, Alice. I think it's been long time since you shared your dslr pictures.

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  6. Wow, these photos are incredible!

    X O

    Isabel
    http://lunabrunel.squarespace.com

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  7. Alice, these are incredible! I love some of the little details that you captured (as you always manage to do!), but I also understand being our own worst critic :P
    Now you've got me itching to travel ASAP!

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  8. You shouldn't have held on to these for so long - they're great! I love the smokey mist in some of the photos.

    I was wondering how you get your images so sharp? And do you do anything special when you export to blogger? I feel like my photos don't look nearly as good online as they do in lightroom and I'm struggling to figure out why.

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    1. Oh hey! I had no idea you had a blog! You've been quite the traveler. I've recently been saving my images twice as large as the width displayed on my blog, mostly for retina-display reasons. So that might be why they are looking sharper. Otherwise I don't do anything special. Hosting my own images might help too since they're not going through blogger's upload process.

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    2. Hi Sher, I just checked out your blog after seeing your comment--love the title of it. I have the same issue, but I think your photos are beautiful. :)

      Emily

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  9. Not special? These photos are INCREDIBLE! I feel as if I'm wandering through Machu Picchu unencumbered by tourists (you've done an amazing job of disguising the touristic nature of the place!) Peru is somewhere I've wanted to go for years and years so I'm really glad that you shared your pictures. I especially love the photo of the mother and child by the roadside overlooking the complex. Very special stuff indeed.

    Tamsin xx | A Certain Adventure

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  10. still, your photos of Machu Picchu are beautiful. wish i could go there someday (before it closes...). it's breathtaking.
    i just don't know how come there is only few tourists in your photos... you've managed well.

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  11. Gorgeous! I was just there in March and I am in love, it was definitely worth the sickness, multiple forms of transport and more sickness (altitude type).
    I recommend this to anyone

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  12. Stunning pictures! I've never been tu Machu Picchu but it's my dream to go there some day. It looks great! I'm sure you had a great trip and thanks for the advice, I will start going to the gym before going to Machu Picchu :) Thanks for sharing these amazing pictures

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  13. Stunning pictures! I've never been to Machu Picchu but it's my dream to go there some day. I'm sure you had a great trip and thank you for the advice, I will definitely start going to the gym before heading to Machu Picchu :)

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  14. Screw the hike, your pictures are gorgeous! I especially love the one with the mountain shadows on the ruins.

    Also, awesome that you had to buy shoes for this trip. Laughing over here. :D

    Emily

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