Archive for August 17th, 2009

Machu Picchu’s Face

17/08/2009

By Randall Richards

"The Face" peering over Machu Picchu

"The Face" peering over Machu Picchu

I’ve been to Machu Picchu for over ten years, and I’ve heard tell of “the face on Huayna Picchu Mountain” for years. I have been able to pick out the stylized puma face that everyone talks about,  with its ears and eyes, but the other day, human face  jumped out at me as I looked at these images I’d taken,  from the classic view on the sloping rock just above Machu Picchu. When I was looking through my images of the day, I clearly saw the face of an older man, wearing a “chulla” or Peruvian hat with ear flaps, as he looks over the Machu Picchu Citadel.

Details of Huayna Picchu's Face

Details of Huayna Picchu's Face

I’d recently run across an “optical illusion” website that features the profile of an Inka man looking skyward, shown by a profile of the ridge from the ruins to Huayna Picchu Mountain, but after close examination of the ridgeline in the website’s images, and comparing them to ridgeline in my images, there is clearly some Photoshop imagery going on.  A Peruvian author has used the profile on the cover of his book. I even walked by a hotel here in Cusco the other day which is using a drawing of “the profile” for its logo.  The profile, whether Photoshop enhanced or not, is still a stretch, any way you look at it,  and may not be the real face that has been hidden in plain sight all along.

Back to the face that I’ve observed. It clearly has eyes, a nose mouth, chin and whole face, at least in my mind’s eye. (Let me know if you see it too). The second image at right  is a blow up of the image with my text and pointer lines inserted. A word about Photoshop: these images are un-retouched. Take any other image from the same location, at late afternoon during the southern winter, and you’ll get the same results.

Every time I see an image of Machu Picchu from that angle, the face now jumps out at me. I am interested in hearing your comments or experiences when visiting Machu Picchu. Do you see the face?

Peru by Bike

17/08/2009

By Amanda Richards
Eva and I met while we were both  studying at Copenhagen University about 5 years ago. We were both  sad when we said our good-byes because  neither of us had any idea when we would  see each other again as she was heading home to Germany and I was returning to Australia.  Yet, now here we are in South America!

Eva is traveling with Sebastien and they  arrived here in Peru intent on cycling  and  hoping to explore `a strange new world, its countryside, people, cultures and languages for 2.5 months…´ Their adventures began in Lima  and they first  headed down  south to Nazca (a desert area) and then up to Cusco.

On the way to Nazca

On the way to Nazca

They have both been surprised at just how many other cyclists there are on the road – their expectation was that they would be almost the only ones on this big adventure!

After the chaos of Cairo (where they are both currently working) they are particularly enjoying the times when they are higher  up in the mountains (sometimes above 4,000m) where there are fewer people.

Up up up and down down down

Up up up and down down down

Eva and Sebastien are at Machu Picchu today and will continue with their cycle tour when they return to Cusco tomorrow. Once again Eva and I  will sadly say our good-byes and who knows when or where we will meet again. Somewhere fun!

Ridgewalking Inca Ruins

17/08/2009

This footage was taken today as we explored the ridge high above the Inka ruins above Pisac, the Sacred Valley, near Cusco and Machu Picchu. Although I’ve been bringing groups to Peru and have guided the high peaks of South America, today was my first day in Pisac.
The ridge got our attention when we  descended a narrow staircase leading to an exposed drop off, but at the brink, a sharp turn to the left led into a steep narrow slot with steps. Straightforward, but it cleaned out our cobwebs for the day.
The footage was prior to the descent to the ceremonial center on the ridge below, then to the village and market of Pisac, Peru.