Mountain Views like never before...
I'm incredibly thankful for the time I took to visit Peru and make a day trip out to Machu Picchu. Many friends or acquaintances always ask about the Machu Picchu portion in particular, wondering if I hiked the Inca Trail. I did not. Not this time anyway. I make the same silly joke about it, "No, I pretty much did the Six Flags version of going to Machu Picchu. Everybody get on the bus, everybody get in line..." Jokes aside, it was still a wonderful journey. Part of the day-trip to Machu Picchu experience involves riding the Inca Rail train from Poroy Station to Aguas Calientes. Poroy is about 25 mintues, by bus, from Cusco and it is there you board your train for the day.
I was looking forward to this portion of the trip very much, because every bit of research I had done online said that great views of the Peruvian landscape were possible while on the train. I planned to capture as much as possible. In particular, I saw that the views of the Urubamba River were plenteous. I settled into my seat on the train. It was a small two seat row, as opposed to the four seat table setups of some other rows. Fine by me. I'm just a single guy with a camera. I parked next to the window and was ready to work. Then fate stepped in...
A couple entered the train, but were not able to seated together, so they asked if I'd be willing to switch seats with them. Sure. No. Big. Deal. Though that small request changed the entire set of photography I was set to capture because I ended up switching sides of the train. I look on the bright side, however. I ended up at a four seat table row with a nice family, that I'd eventually run into again and again back in Cusco the following days. It was another one of those strokes of destiny, timing and serendipity. It was not unlike the story of Chicago from 2016. I may tell that story via blog post one day, but the short version is that I met a very nice family from Rosario, Argentina.
Camera ready, I still was looking forward to capturing some window seat views. Maybe this side of the train would have better views. Who's to say? I will say though, that I missed out on the River unfortunately. Again, bright side, the train ride was pretty spectular. I had mountain views, the likes of which I've never seen before. Gorgeous. And this is coming from having experience in the California desert. Below are the best views from the trip, including snow capped mountains, and a few signs of life from small farming towns along the way. Some shots were cleaned up, other left a bit raw with reflections or electrical wires present. To me, it all worked:
An interesting pass-by was a small burial ground in the countryside. I noticed the crosses at first, and it took a moment for me to put it together, but certainly a place of burial and memorial:
I'll save the best for last. On our way back from Aguas Calientes, we stopped shortly, for an unknown reason, but just off the tracks we saw a sweet group of Peruvian children playing. Innocence and joy: