This is Salapunku, the first ruin you’ll see on the first day of a 4-day Inca Trail trek.
It was located next to a canal, so may have been involved in administering water from it. Otherwise, from what I can uncover, it was just a little Inca farm town.
It now overlooks the rail line to Aguas Calientes / Machu Picchu Pueblo — so any local ghosts don’t get much rest these days.
Every journey has to begin somewhere. Since travelers on the Inca Trail are fairly tightly controlled of late, a journey on the Inca Trail starts at a checkpoint. In this case, the checkpoint at the km 82 marker (measured from Cusco — possibly along the river, or possibly along the rail line, I never asked).
Before I hiked the Inca Trail, I naturally did the modern thing and consulted the font of wisdom that is the Internet. Quite a few sites talked about the cardiovascular challenge of the trail, the risk of altitude sickness, etc. Before I hiked the trail, though, I didn’t appreciate how helpful resistance training would have been.
The normal brief description of the 4-day approach to the trail goes something like this:
- Day 1 — warm-up
- Day 2 — painful climbing
- Day 3 — a little climbing, but mostly down-hill
- Day 4 — smooth sailing into Machu Picchu
This is generally accurate, but an over-simplification. Continue reading
So I recently returned from a trip to Peru — including a hike along the Inca Trail, a good chunk of time spent in Machu Picchu, even more time spent in Cusco, all sorts of good things. I plan on writing up a number of blog posts on things I saw and experienced — but first thought this might be helpful to future Machu Picchu visitors (it’s a sign at the entrance, laying out 25 things you may not bring to / do in the site):
Bottom line — there’s lots of inaccurate information online w.r.t what is and isn’t allowed into / at the site of Machu Picchu. So, since the above text is a bit small, here’s the posted list of restrictions (as of May, 2018), along with my comments on them: Continue reading
A rear-engine Polish Fiat; seen on the streets of Cienfuegos, Cuba.
Tulips in bloom in Denver’s Civic Center Park:
Nothing of profound significance here, I just liked the pattern these were planted in.
There’s been some discussion online about ways to use the Olympus E-M1II‘s dual slots, so I thought I’d write up how I use them — in the hope that this is useful for other owners of the camera.
So, first off, three things:
- The camera’s two slots have different speeds. Slot 1 (the “top” one) is capable of handling UHS-II cards but is backwards compatible with earlier cards, and Slot 2 (the “bottom” one) is capable of handling UHS-I cards. This is a new thing (to Olympus) with the E-M1II, so earlier models don’t have this capability, and only time will tell what later models will have it. If I’m reading the card specs correctly, the fastest UHS-II card will be 3 times faster than the best UHS-I card.
- You can use the two slots in any of six different modes for stills, plus a separate choice for video. Note that your selections are “captured” by custom modes, so you can use the cards differently for each of the 3 custom modes plus your normal mode — if you’ve got the cognitive “real estate” to remember all these permutations.
- You’ll need to make changes in two places in the menu system (maybe three, depending on how you set up your camera), but they’re logically separate so pretty easy to keep straight.
So it’s been a few years, but the Ice Castles folks have again set up shop in Colorado (as well as at 5 other sites in North America). Here’s a particularly blue shot from this winter’s “castle” in Dillon:
Some tips for you, should you be able to visit one… Continue reading
Another shot of Paris’ Ferris Wheel, courtesy of Olympus‘ Live Composite function:
Unfortunately, when you use Live Composite to create an image, the total exposure time is not recorded in the image’s EXIF data. I do know, though, that each Live Comp “sub-image” was 0.5 seconds long, and this photo is made up of at least 20 of them.
Other EXIF info for the curious:
Olympus E-M5II, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 lens @ 31mm
We spotted this little guy (gal?) near the visitor center for the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, Florida.
Impressively camouflaged for such a little thing…