August 2018: Holy Mountains and Sacred Valleys, Peru

1 Lares Trek Beginning
The view down the valley on day one of my trek from the small town of Lares, near the Sacred Valley, Peru.
2 Huascahuasi Football Field
Even at 3750 metres above sea level, the people of Huascahuasi still have their priorities straight.
3 Huascahuasi Campsite
My campsite for the night. Against the far wall, you can see the supplies for the fire I built, which I scavenged from a nearby ruined house, as well as the broken piece of pottery with I used to cook my evening meal. During the night, a 15-year old local called Mario came and joined me at my fire. He asked me if I believed in God, if I had come from Australia by plane or by car, and if I was not afraid to travel alone.
4 High Valley
The shacks of the bemused locals who kept directing me back onto the correct trail.
5 Llamas 1
Following my llama guides.
6 Llamas 2
Bothering my llama guides.

7 Valley Creek

8 Christian
After hiking half an hour along this valley, I came across Christian, who was kind enough to tell me I was going in the wrong direction. He was the 5-year old youngest son of potato farmers, and very helpfully put me back on the right track.

9 Horse

10 Before the Pass
Old shepherd shacks at 4200 metres
12 Ipsayjasa Pass
Ipsayjasa Passa, 4500 metres, the height of the trek.
11 Ipsayjassa Pass Selfie
My expression is directed towards the rain clouds rapidly advancing towards me.

13 High Lakes14 Misty Road

15 Conquering Lares
Some other trekkers coming down the other side of the pass were kind enough to take this photo.
16 Sacred Valley
Just outside the town of Pisac in the Sacred Valley, Peru, after my trek.

17 Sacred Valley 2

18 Huchuy Qusqo Mist
I chose a day of interesting conditions to embark on a second expedition to the Incan ruins of Huchuy Qusqo.
19 Through the Mist
The mist was as thick as rain, and left me just as drenched.
20 Huchuy Qusqo
Gateway to the ruins of Huchuy Qusqo
21 Above the CLouds
Above the clouds.
22 Huchuy Qusqo Before
The mist rolled over the mountains in a matter of minutes…
23 Huchuy Qusqo After
…revealing some spectacular scenery.
24 Huchuy Qusqo Selfie
Wet hair the result not of rain, but of the mist.

25 Light Through the Sacred Valley

26 Ollaytantambo
The ancient town of Ollaytantambo, heart land of the Inca kingdom
27 Nusta Qura Oqllo
Nusta Qura Oqllo, one of the last queens of the Inca, who was raped and executed by the Spanish.

28 Ollaytantambo Valley

29 Machu Picchu
Seeing things from a different perspective.
30 Machu Picchu Mountains
For me, the mountains were the most spectacular part of Machu Picchu.
31 Lima Parque de Amor
I spent a night in Lima, and visited the Park of Love.
21 Lima Parque de Amor 2
“I adore all that is not mine. You, for example.”