What a fantastic trip! I've been home for a couple of days, and I'm beginning my blog anew. That's because I never got beyond the first day while I was on the trip - partly due to slow/no wifi, but also because I just didn't have time to process the hundreds of photos I took most days. I love to re-read blogs months and years after I've enjoyed a trip, so that's why I'm determined to create the blog even now after getting back home. It will take a long time, especially because I'm also trying to make the switch from Aperture to Lightroom - a big learning curve.
On Tuesday, May 5, I took the train to LA Union Station and then the shuttle to LAX. I had a midnight flight, and fortunately, I was able to get at least a little sleep. Soon after settling into our Lima hotel, I joined the rest of our group for a 5:30 orientation meeting and dinner. Besides me, there were nine male photographers and one photographer's wife. We were all lucky enough to participate in a Jim Cline Photo Tour of Peru. Our group was fun. It included four from New York, one from New Hampshire, one from Washington, DC, one from Nebraska, and four of us from San Diego (including Jim). Everyone seemed to have a wonderful time except Dale's wife, Pat, who got sick on the second day and couldn't participate fully. She had come more for the hiking than the photography, and it was such a shame that she didn't even get to see Machu Picchu.
Jim has so much expertise that I can't imagine any trip going more smoothly or being more chock full of history, cultural insights, photo ops, interactions with local people, excellent accommodations, great food, and lots of exercise. We seemed to be constantly on the move - by foot, bus, train, or plane - staying at most two nights in each location. I loved it all. The funny thing is that though our schedule was packed, the trip had a leisurely feel. There was no rush about taking pictures and no hesitation about stopping for impromptu photo ops.
The morning after our first dinner together, we flew from Lima to Cusco. We had time in the late afternoon to explore on our own, and then we met up for dinner at a local restaurant that also provided musical entertainment. It seems appropriate to show a Cathedral as the first photo in this post, as there are many Catholic churches in Cusco. You can stand in one place and see three of them.
Here is the first photo I took in Peru. I was in the courtyard of our hotel in Cusco.
There are women selling their work everywhere in Peru. Often they want a sole (about 30 cents) in return for a photo, but what they really want is for tourists to buy the their handicrafts.
There are also lots of women who dress up to attract photographers. They don't sell anything, but they do want soles in return for posing. Often they hold cute little lambs which apparently attract photographers as much as their colorful outfits.
It's unusual to see a woman who is not wearing a hat and carrying a colorful sack on her back. Young women carry their babies that way, and older women carry everything else. When men have something to carry, they seem to use the same method.
Of course not everyone wants their photo taken, but we found most people really friendly and obliging, especially kids.
In front of the Cathedral, a bunch of kids drew a crowd of people watchers and photographers when they began practicing for a performance they apparently put on somewhere sometime.
It was a lovely evening in Cusco.... I even experimented with the panorama setting on my camera.
The restaurant we went to for dinner provided musicians and dancers to entertain us.
It was quite a first day in Cusco!