I thought about the contaminated drinking water, the multiple flights, the steep, scary climbs, fear that I would hold back my much more athletic travel companions, the potential debilitating altitude sickness, and the list goes on.
I was up for the sunrise and climbed the Inca ruins with my paints. Words cannot adequately capture how truly spectacular this site is, and how amazing that they could build these structures in this inaccessible place.
It's a scene right out of Lawrence of Arabia: enormous mountains of sand -- some as tall as 300 feet -- their surface sculpted into soft, geometric designs by the wind, and extending as far as the eye can see.
While attempting to recreate Hiram Bingham's 1911 trek and "discovery" of Machu Picchu, Adams also reflects on the Inca Civilization that built these ancient cities throughout Peru in the 13th -16th centuries and its final showdown with Spain in the mid 1500's.
Anyone making their way to Machu Picchu must first traverse The Sacred Valley of the Incas (Valle Sagrado de los Incas), and we were no exception. But this was no tedious trek, it was a fascinating adventure in its own right.
October's rife with talk of ghosts, goblins and ghouls, but not everybody's down with the undead. For those looking for the flip side to a haunted hotel experience -- more deities than demons -- here are five divinely-linked destinations for a more sacred sojourn.
Clouds settle over mountains and hide them from view, then lift for a few minutes to reveal peaks turned gold in the sun. Fingers of mist creep into valleys, then melt into sunshine. Is it the most beautiful place in the world? It's near the top of my list.
When you're on the side of a mountain in the middle of a range chock full of them, dusk turns to darkness in an instant. We were on hour six of our four hour hike, our large group of 25 people, all walking the same treacherous trail.
Peru is one of those places that make iconically beautiful countries like South Africa and Thailand feel a hint of jealousy. The country is riddled with archaeological sites that tell the story of ancient civilizations.
Even New York City can feel small when you're consumed with the minutiae of your day-to-day. That's why I'm always game for a once-in-a-lifetime activity -- for a minute, when I'm so far from the normalcy of my daily life, I feel like I can do anything.
On the most difficult stretches, I could feel the breath from every one of the men carrying me. Which made me wonder: if my body was tired, what did their bodies feel like? How did they have the capacity, the energy, the drive to continue to lift my chair over and over again?