Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Exercise South of the Equator, part II

Toni and I had a great time in was pretty active as I mentioned.  Most days were were up at 6am and there were 2-3 major excursions to do every day.

Most people hit the rack very early after the first few days and I was one of them. 

Here's one last memento...a fellow cruiser took this video of my encounter with a baby sea lion. Moms leave their younguns for a day or two when they go out to fish and the little guys get bored. 

my best shot of Machu Picchu..yes it really did look like this.
Then we were off to Cuzco and Machu Picchu. The altitudes there range from 11,000' down to 8,500'.  

We had large parts of two days to explore M.P., Toni and I did the hike from M.P. up to "Sun Gate" along an the Inca Trail.

This is not a huge hike..maybe 3-4 miles tops. It climbs up to probably around 9,300'. I was glad I was in good shape..I found this hike interesting for the altitude issues but they did not slow me down. I used my speed to get up to the Sun Gate and have the place to myself until the other hikers caught was magical. 

inca trail to sun gate

The "Inca trail" is really a network of thousands of miles of trails built 500-600 years ago. Sun gate is at a pass where the trail comes up through a saddle and you get your first view of Machu Picchu...AND it's called Sun Gate because the dawn on the vernal equinox pops through this notch and shines down on Machu Picchu.  There is a temple building in M.P. where the sun comes through a window and hits a stone obelisk carved out of a huge existing rock  and this casts shadows that also mark the moment of spring.

I would really like to go back to this area of the Andes mountians and do some hiking someday. It's very beautiful and the Peruvians are a great and friendly people...with some wonderful foods (they domesticated the potato and have many many kinds you have never seen before..yum!)
Toni and I at sun gate..machu picchu is just
to the right of my left arm. The switchback road
to get to the site is just below that.

Anyway, if you get a chance to go to the Inca valley and Machu Picchu you will find it a place that is quite beautiful and special.

And you can get a lot of good high altitude tromping around in to boot!

Full album here


  1. 8500' - 11,000' is great training for Pikes Peak. Just saying!! :)

    The seal video was precious, I'd have had to sit there with him until his momma returned!

    What a fantastic trip! Hope you make it back someday to explore your heart out. And have some more potatoes! :)

  2. This looks amazing...that must have been a wonderful trip. I love how the person taking the video did a "quick pan to the left" to check for an incoming Mom during your encounter. :-)

  3. These trails are "a dream come true." How lovely! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Great shot of Machu Picchu, and sun gate. Also very cute little seal who came over to say hola.

  5. Looks like a fantastic trip! Love the video and photos.


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