Archaeology is the only discipline that seeks to study human behavior and thought without having any direct contact with either.
~ Bruce Trigger
When we last saw our intrepid couple, they had hiked approximately 1,000,000 miles - across a barren desert during a sand storm, through a swamp dotted with quicksand pits, into a dark, dangerous jungle - and arrived at the edge of the earth - the Sun Gate overlooking Machu Picchu.
Here is their version of the "must have" (i.e., everyone who has ever been, has one exactly like this) photograph of Machu Picchu, in the late afternoon sun, from the Sun Gate:
...and here they are, weary and battered - but not beaten! - before they hike through Machu Picchu to the bus station - to take a bus to their hotel for the night. (Which, of course, is run by dangerous pirates and vampires, so it's not as if they are doing anything boring or ordinary...)
Anyways, we returned to Machu Picchu the next morning, for a leisurely day of exploring and photographing the ruins. It turned out to be a misty, rainy day... So, prepare yourself for some "mood shots." ;)
We did get some interesting close-up shots. Look at these three architecture shots - this first shot is believed to be pre-Inca walls found beneath the Inca buildings - structures that the Incas supposedly took advantage of when they came into control of this land:
The next is believed by archaeologists to be Inca housing - thrown together relatively quickly:
Finally, the Inca temple walls - showing an incredible amount of care and precision in their construction:
Supposedly they didn't use any mortar - and their building techniques were so good that these buildings have survived all sorts of natural disasters including earthquakes.
It was also really cool how the Incas built a series of small channels (or aqueducts) all throughout the city to control the flow of water - and then added a series of 16 fountains along one section, possibly for the aesthetic appeal.
It did clear up a tiny bit in the early afternoon...
The picture above shows the sun temple in the foreground - it works kind of like a sundial for the summer and winter solstices - they can be exactly identified by the way in which they cast shadows in this temple. It is believed that the Incas used this type of astronomically-based calendar to guide their planting and harvesting activities.
Speaking of the sun, this little bit of light allowed us to catch a shot of some of the llamas roaming the grounds:
And that, my friends, was our day in Machu Picchu. :)