Sep 232011
 

Uros, Amanti and Taquile sound like names of Antiquity Gods. Yet they are the names of three islands on Lake Titicaca where we spent the last two days. Uros are the floating islands where the inhabitants’ houses are built on rushes. Amanti is home of fishermen and sheperds who perpetuate centuries old traditions. As for Taquile, it is know for its weavers which are men only. (click on pictures for high res).

All pictures taken with Leica M8 and 35mm Lux Asph

Sep 222011
 

There are no cars in Aguas Calientes, but the streets are so full of life.  (click on pictures for high res)

(This is a pre-programed post as we are staying overnight on a Lake Titicaca island with no electricity and obviously, no internet)

All pictures taken with Leica M8 and 35mm Lux Asph

Sep 212011
 

A 9 hours bus trip with touristic stops brought us from Cusco to Lake Titicaca. We discovered the amazing sceneries of the Altiplano, or high plains which stand at about 4000 meters about sea level.  Let’s therefore leave street photography aside for a day and discover this remote area of the world.  (click on pictures for high res)

All pictures taken with Leica M8 and 35mm Lux Asph

Sep 202011
 

So we finally made it to Machi Picchu. I won’t show the classic panorama pictures, but a photographic essay on the Mount that overlooks the Machu, that is Hunaya Picchu.

It is 6 am, the gates of the Machu Picchu have just opened. It is a grey day and a light rain falls over the ancient city.

Low clouds make it difficult to see beyond a few meters.

Only shadows of the long forgotten town appear in the distance.

Wooden roofs disappeared long ago, yet the walls resisted the assault of time.

A few llamas graze on the terraces once filled with thousands flowers.

I wonder how many generations of Incas contemplated the lower valleys from the walls of Machu Picchu.

We now reach the checkpoint to the Hunaya Picchu.

The mountain I thought we would conquest appears at the end of the settlement. I cheer up and think that the climb won’t be that difficult.

Mistake. the true Hunaya Picchu was hiding behind in the clouds. I start to get nervous as I contemplate its high peak and very steep slopes. A few hikers have preceded us, it looks like they are about to fall like small toys.

We engage in the old trail, built in stone centuries ago by the Inca.

The steps are slippery and I can’t help imagining a fall. It would be leathal for sure.

The first terraces of the Inca settlement built on the peak of Hunaya Picchu are reached. The goal is near.

And a few minutes later, Mount Hunaya Picchu is finally conquested.

Still no view of Machu Picchu though. It would come after a long wait. The condor-shaped city finally appeared briefly through a hole in the clouds. The ghosts of thousands Incas rewarded the bold climbers.

All pictures taken with Leica M8 and 35mm Lux Asph

Sep 192011
 

Aguas Calientes is a small town that serves as base camp to the climb to the Machu Pichu. It can only be reached by train. The 3 hours ride, Orient Express style, through Sacred Valley is stunning and a feeling of “end of the world” overwhelmed me as we entered the Aguas Calientes train station. Still, life in Aguas Calientes looks to be like any other place in the world. (click on pictures for high res)

All pictures taken with Leica M8 and 35mm Lux Asph

Sep 182011
 

A few kilometers away form Cusco lays the Sacred Valley. A fertile land where many Inca cities prospered, it is home to thousands of terraces built on the slopes of the mountains. And almost 600 years after the conquest by Spaniards, traditions and folklore is still perpetuated by many of its inhabitants.  (for better viewing, launch slideshow by clicking on first picture, navigation buttons will then appear)

All pictures taken with Leica M8 and 35mm Lux

Sep 172011
 

Between fruits, meat, vegetables, fish and flowers, all seem to find a few seconds to dive in their inner world. (click on pictures for high res)

All pictures taken with Leica M8 and 35mm Lux Asph