When my mind isn't wandering, I can think pretty intensely.

 

A few railroad shots from Alex’s Canon T2i:

Following the railroad to Aguas Calientes and a cool snap by Josh Kling in Aguas Calientes.

Day 7: Strolling downstream with the glacial runoff. With a lot of time on the trail and most of it downhill, we took advantage of plenty photogenic scenes in the Andes. Armed with my ultra-wide angle lens (10mm-24mm), landscapes became an experimental focus. Balancing light, shuttle speed, ISO and f-stop pushed me to play excessively in the manual setting. With frequent opportunities to shoot moving water, I began to play with slower shutter speeds. The challenge became making amazing scenes look cool; however, I don’t think I’m quite skilled enough, but a few examples found their way to tumblr. Thoughts? Tips? Critiques? I now have a tripod, so “get a tripod” has already been addressed.

Day 6: Second day on the trek to Machu Picchu. Today, we met Mt. Salkantay, up close and it did not get any more friendly. This mountain holds the title as scariest mountain I’ve seen in person. We managed the trek from camp to 15,088 feet, taking a break at Salkantay pass. Having some spare time due to our pace, another guide gave us a top that an incredible glacial lake was just over a ridge, about a quarter of a mile off the trail. OUr buddy Josh, turned to Alex, Mick and me, and with some “last one there [sucks]” line, we took off, Canon T2i or T3i’s in hand and we sprinted toward the ridge. If you’re reading fast or skimming this, I’ll reiterate that we’re above 15,000ft. After about 200 yards of hoping over rocks, weaving between boulders and avoiding all the loose rock debris, this writer needed to slow his roll. No need to bust an ankle (or worse) or destroy my camera before we arrived at Machu Picchu. 

We snapped a few shots and broke off, back to the group, and the side adventure was completely worth any extra effort. If you’ve ever been to a place of natural beauty, you will understand the word “beautiful” lacks true power to describe what you witness. 

Elevation adventure: Wake up in the dry mountain valley at approximately 12,600ft, attack the pass of 15,088ft, and complete the day around 9600feet, in a jungle. Take that body.

Day 5: The first day of the trek to Machu Picchu. After a late, 2AM departure from our newly embraced Peruvian club, Mama Africa (odd name; we agree), we returned to our hotel only to wake up at 4AM to meet a spacious bus around 5AM. When I said spacious, I was lying. Upon arriving at a small village, Mollepata(approx 9500 feet elevation), we chowed some breakfast and loaded our gear. We finally arrived at the trailhead. The actual trek began after an hour to an hour and a half truck ride, where the 15 in our travel party cattled up in the bed of an open cargo truck. Bumpy and dusty don’t highlight the real feeling of backroading the high, dry mountains of Peru. From there, we began a simple 7-ish hour warm up hike, up to 12,600ft to camp.
This picture highlights how tiny our tent-village setup(near the center, left of the photo) cowers below Mt. Salkantay(middle right, elevation just above 20,550ft).

Day 5: The first day of the trek to Machu Picchu. After a late, 2AM departure from our newly embraced Peruvian club, Mama Africa (odd name; we agree), we returned to our hotel only to wake up at 4AM to meet a spacious bus around 5AM. When I said spacious, I was lying. Upon arriving at a small village, Mollepata(approx 9500 feet elevation), we chowed some breakfast and loaded our gear. We finally arrived at the trailhead. The actual trek began after an hour to an hour and a half truck ride, where the 15 in our travel party cattled up in the bed of an open cargo truck. Bumpy and dusty don’t highlight the real feeling of backroading the high, dry mountains of Peru. From there, we began a simple 7-ish hour warm up hike, up to 12,600ft to camp.

This picture highlights how tiny our tent-village setup(near the center, left of the photo) cowers below Mt. Salkantay(middle right, elevation just above 20,550ft).