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Andrys Basten | profile | all galleries >> MACHU PICCHU photos - May 1997 tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

MACHU PICCHU photos - May 1997

The pictures or photographs of Machu Picchu are from my visit there
and travel to other highland areas of Peru first shown at my website,
which contains a guide-like PhotoDiary of the Peru trip.

You might also enjoy my HIGHLANDS OF PERU gallery.

Camera: Canon Elph - APS film (Analog) - Scans from prints

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Going up narrow winding road to Machu Picchu
 8,000 ft above sea level
The winding hill up to Machu Picchu

Going up narrow winding road to Machu Picchu
8,000 ft above sea level

In the reflection from the bus window, my head is perfectly aligned with and part 
of Putucusi Mountain.
My first head-on encounter with Putucusi Mountain

In the reflection from the bus window, my head is perfectly aligned with and part
of Putucusi Mountain.

Mt. Putucusi suffered from fire damage a year or two later,
when a fire came within 1,000 feet of the site.
Scene facing the hotel at Machu Picchu - Mt. Putucusi

Mt. Putucusi suffered from fire damage a year or two later,
when a fire came within 1,000 feet of the site.

Two younger ones taking in the scenery
Two younger ones taking in the scenery
A walkway in between these houses is a main entry point to the ruins of the city.
Inca trail walkers enter another way.
Going down the staircase behind the Houses of the Caretakers

A walkway in between these houses is a main entry point to the ruins of the city.
Inca trail walkers enter another way.

In the foreground are ferns among the other growth, tho' 
we're about 7,500 feet above sea level.
The Urubamba River about 1,500 feet below

In the foreground are ferns among the other growth, tho'
we're about 7,500 feet above sea level.

This is one of the Caretakers' Houses with another one below it.
   Unlike other buildings on this site, the roofs have been restored to
give us an idea what the city looked like when it was a bustling, probably 
spiritual, center.
Entryway to the old city of Machu Picchu

This is one of the "Caretakers' Houses" with another one below it.
  Unlike other buildings on this site, the roofs have been restored to
give us an idea what the city looked like when it was a bustling, probably
spiritual, center.

The pyramid-shaped and terraced Intiwatana hill (top center) was likely a 
combination spiritual and astronomical site.
First view of the interior of the old city

The pyramid-shaped and terraced Intiwatana hill (top center) was likely a
combination spiritual and astronomical site.

Handsome llama there.  There are several 'working' at the site.
Nearing the top of the steps not far from Watchman's Hut

Handsome llama there. There are several 'working' at the site.

Much more info in my PhotoDiary.
Looking across at the other side of the Caretaker houses.

Much more info in my PhotoDiary.

This is a favorite of mine, though it's a grainy shot.
It was used as a desk piece in the opening scenes of a 
weekly TV mystery show about an anthropologist's explorations.
   Done from a scan of a print, I will probably redo this someday.
My curious llama

This is a favorite of mine, though it's a grainy shot.
It was used as a desk piece in the opening scenes of a
weekly TV mystery show about an anthropologist's explorations.
  Done from a scan of a print, I will probably redo this someday.

The head llama surveys the southeast portion of his domain.
The head llama surveys the southeast portion of his domain.
At the top is the funerary level, where the stock photos of Machu Picchu (Old Peak) are taken, 
showing Wayna Picchu (Young Peak) rising in the background. The Watchman's Hut overlooks the 
lower plateau.
Part of the 'Agricultural sector'

At the top is the funerary level, where the stock photos of Machu Picchu (Old Peak) are taken,
showing Wayna Picchu (Young Peak) rising in the background. The Watchman's Hut overlooks the
lower plateau.

The carved stone piece may have been used for offerings or funeral rites. Behind the Watchman's Hut, we see the familiar Wayna Picchu.
   As the city on the lower plateau is already 1500+ ft above the river below, we're a few hundred feet higher here.
The Funerary level, with Watchman's Hut and carved stone piece

The carved stone piece may have been used for offerings or funeral rites. Behind the Watchman's Hut, we see the familiar Wayna Picchu.
  As the city on the lower plateau is already 1500+ ft above the river below, we're a few hundred feet higher here.

This llama's other photo was chosen for the desk in the opening of a weekly tv series about an 
anthropology teacher who investigates sites with unusual events/stories.
My favorite llama is still curious.

This llama's other photo was chosen for the desk in the opening of a weekly tv series about an
anthropology teacher who investigates sites with unusual events/stories.

The thatched roof of the Watchman's Hut is seem at right edge.
From Watchman's Hut.  Note the lack of railings.

The thatched roof of the Watchman's Hut is seem at right edge.

Zoomed and cropped left area of previous photo, from Watchman's Hut
Zoomed and cropped left area of previous photo, from Watchman's Hut
Huayna Picchu enjoyed  by group at right, below
Huayna Picchu enjoyed by group at right, below
Hiram Bingham named this The Lower Urban Sector
Hiram Bingham named this ""The Lower Urban Sector"
Watchman's Hut seen from the stairs going up to it
Watchman's Hut seen from the stairs going up to it
More windows in trapezoidal shapes. It was interesting to stand at the windows and realize that
the Inca residents woke up to these beautiful sights here, every day.
Inside the hut. What a view they had

More windows in trapezoidal shapes. It was interesting to stand at the windows and realize that
the Inca residents woke up to these beautiful sights here, every day.

A view of Putucusi from the watchman's level
A view of Putucusi from the watchman's level
What a sight that must have been. While everything was covered in thick growth, part of this building was visible, and he quickly had the growth cut back.
Exterior of The Temple of the Sun.   The first building
Hiram Bingham saw in 1911

What a sight that must have been. While everything was covered in thick growth, part of this building was visible, and he quickly had the growth cut back.

Stone piece at the right may have doubled as a sort of sun dial and an altar for human sacrifices. 

   The large window in front of the stone piece was perfectly aligned to the sunrise point of the June solstice).
Interior of the Temple of the Sun

Stone piece at the right may have doubled as a sort of sun dial and an altar for human sacrifices.

  The large window in front of the stone piece was perfectly aligned to the sunrise point of the June solstice).

This is the famous odd opening resembling an entranceway but which leads nowhere. 
It's a window which ends at the 'floor'), and we're two stories up.
Window on the left, inside theTemple of the Sun

This is the famous odd opening resembling an entranceway but which leads nowhere.
It's a window which ends at the 'floor'), and we're two stories up.

The now familiar Putucusi Mountain has quite an effect there, but you seldom see it in photos of 
Machu Picchu.
Beautiful view from the Temple's left window when looking to far-right

The now familiar Putucusi Mountain has quite an effect there, but you seldom see it in photos of
Machu Picchu.

View from that left window, looking center-right
View from that left window, looking center-right
The central plaza and (mostly) the Lower Urban Sector as seen from the side window of the Watchman's 
Hut.  The couple sitting on a terraced level are facing the Temple of the Sun at lower left.
Note couple at the bottom right, enjoying the view.

The central plaza and (mostly) the Lower Urban Sector as seen from the side window of the Watchman's
Hut. The couple sitting on a terraced level are facing the Temple of the Sun at lower left.

Looking northeast, we see the area holding the more prosaic buildings housing the workers, the 
stonework definitely less fine.  This photo gives more of the feeling of being there.
"Lower Urban Sector" (or "Hurin") holding workers' houses

Looking northeast, we see the area holding the more prosaic buildings housing the workers, the
stonework definitely less fine.  This photo gives more of the feeling of being there.

The portal ahead (lower right, ground level) is of typically fine Inca stonework.
   For a fantastic example, see this amazing one (with no mortor used), a photo from the Ollantaytambo section of my PhotoDiary.
From the city below, the Watchman's Hut. Portal at bottom right.

The portal ahead (lower right, ground level) is of typically fine Inca stonework.
  For a fantastic example, see this amazing one (with no mortor used), a photo from the Ollantaytambo section of my PhotoDiary.

Wayna Picchu looms in the background.
From the entrance of an area in the northeast end of the old city.

Wayna Picchu looms in the background.

The High Urban Sector (Hanan), on the west side, includes Intiwatana Hill, the Sacred Plaza, 
Temple of the Sun (sometimes referred to as 'the tower'), the Royal Palace, and the Main Portal).
At lower left, the religious and royal areas

The "High Urban Sector" ("Hanan"), on the west side, includes Intiwatana Hill, the Sacred Plaza,
Temple of the Sun (sometimes referred to as 'the tower'), the Royal Palace, and the Main Portal).

The ground is settling below the right corner of this 3-sided building and has caused serious 
damage to the structure, which is basically strong, surviving many earthquakes. 
  Behind the Main Temple is Intiwatana Hill and its Sundial.
The Sacred Plaza's "Main Temple"

The ground is settling below the right corner of this 3-sided building and has caused serious
damage to the structure, which is basically strong, surviving many earthquakes.
 Behind the Main Temple is Intiwatana Hill and its Sundial.

The Lower Urban Sector (Hurin), endless passageways that turn every which way. 
  While there are no monsters -- to those who were put in what is described as the Jail or
Prison Group (a depressing section which I didn't photograph) some may have seemed so.
  Across the way is the Temple of the Three Windows. Part of Intiwatana Hill can be seen 
over it.
Maze-like and reminiscent of computer game "Doom"

The Lower Urban Sector ("Hurin"), endless passageways that turn every which way.
 While there are no monsters -- to those who were put in what is described as the Jail or
Prison Group (a depressing section which I didn't photograph) some may have seemed so.
 Across the way is the Temple of the Three Windows. Part of Intiwatana Hill can be seen
over it.

(The links to photos by others, of this interesting site,
are back  at my website.)
  Carved in the granite floor is what looks like the head of a condor that is lying down, with 
white ruff at the neck, and the impressive part is the appearance of the huge stones behind it.
  Those are natural rocks placed in the configuration of a condor's outstretched wings, and 
they house niches and an altar. 
   For the Incas, the condor was the symbol of strength.
Temple of the Condor

(The links to photos by others, of this interesting site,
are back at my website.)

 Carved in the granite floor is what looks like the head of a condor that is lying down, with
white ruff at the neck, and the impressive part is the appearance of the huge stones behind it.
 Those are natural rocks placed in the configuration of a condor's outstretched wings, and
they house niches and an altar.
  For the Incas, the condor was the symbol of strength.

This was taken from the House of Three Windows, facing west, just before we went up to the top of the
terraced Intiwatana Hill which so entranced me with its peaceful vistas in all directions that I 
didn't take one picture. (!)
Back at The Sacred Plaza

This was taken from the House of Three Windows, facing west, just before we went up to the top of the
terraced Intiwatana Hill which so entranced me with its peaceful vistas in all directions that I
didn't take one picture. (!)

To its right (our left) is the Temple of the Sun, its rounded side seen in this photo.
Approaching the House of the Caretaker of the Fountains

To its right (our left) is the Temple of the Sun, its rounded side seen in this photo.

Other countries don't tend to worry about protective railing.
That's quite a drop to the level of the trains below. But the purer beauty is worth just being
more careful.
At the entrance point again. No protecting rails there.

Other countries don't tend to worry about protective railing.
That's quite a drop to the level of the trains below. But the purer beauty is worth just being
more careful.

Top left is the Watchman's Hut.  You can see the city-on-a-mountaintop aspect of the place, 
although only the House of the Caretaker of the Fountains has its thatched roof replaced..
Temple of the Sun's odd window-portal facing
the House of the Caretaker of the Fountains

Top left is the Watchman's Hut. You can see the city-on-a-mountaintop aspect of the place,
although only the House of the Caretaker of the Fountains has its thatched roof replaced..

The lighting constantly changes, with the help of clouds that seem to hover nearby during the sunniest times. 
  This was the last shot I took of Machu Picchu before the Temple of the Sun took me down. :-)
Mt. Putucusi at end of day (photo is not ultra-dark like the thumbnail is).

The lighting constantly changes, with the help of clouds that seem to hover nearby during the sunniest times.
 This was the last shot I took of Machu Picchu before the Temple of the Sun took me down. :-)

The best time to experience Machu Picchu is after most of the other tourists have left the 
area on buses for hotels below the mountain or to connect with a train or helicopter to Cusco.
   It feels more personal, and you get a sense of what it was to live there, in the 1400s.

  Unfortunately, this photo is underexposed and the middle portion had some flare, but it gives an 
idea of the feel of Machu Picchu when not overrun with others like ourselves.  ;-)
After the bulk of tourists have left, time can seem suspended.

The best time to experience Machu Picchu is after most of the other tourists have left the
area on buses for hotels below the mountain or to connect with a train or helicopter to Cusco.
  It feels more personal, and you get a sense of what it was to live there, in the 1400s.

 Unfortunately, this photo is underexposed and the middle portion had some flare, but it gives an
idea of the feel of Machu Picchu when not overrun with others like ourselves. ;-)