This is the classic view of Macchu Picchu in Peru. I took it in November 1999 from Inti Punku, the ‘Sun Gate’ as dawn lit up the sky and the sun melted the cloud cover. I had trekked the Inca trail for three days to get there. The high altitude nearly killed me; I lost nails from both big toes from repeatedly stubbing them into the Inca stone steps through sheer exhaustion along the way. But it was worth it; I had waited a long time to experience this view, since my teens, in fact.
Because it was so early, we arrived well before the hordes of tourists. It was wonderful to have this ancient sacred place to ourselves, but for a few other intrepid trekkers. We felt we had earned the right to be there. We spread out and explored, soaking up the atmosphere and the views. After a couple of hours, buses and helicopters began relaying the tourists in and out. The magic was lost, and it was time to leave.
Macchu Picchu was discovered in 1911 by American historian and Yale lecturer, Hiram Bingham. The city was built by the Incas around 1450, but was abandoned only a century later. It may have served as a royal retreat for Pachacuti, the Incan emperor at the time of construction, but it’s also possible that it may have been a site of religious activity. Most people associate the Incas with large scale human sacrifice, but evidence of relatively few human sacrifices have been found at Macchu Picchu.
I was nominated to take part in this photo challenge by Sue Vincent, who takes the most beautiful images and always has a story to tell about them. I would like to nominate Ed Mooney, whose photographs I love, but no pressure, Ed!
The rules of the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge are:
1) Post a photo each day for five consecutive day
2) Attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or a short paragraph. It’s entirely up to the individual.
3) Nominate another blogger to carry on the challenge. Your nominee is free to accept or decline the invitation. This is fun, not a command performance!