Enchanting Peru (6): Train Ride to Machu Picchu

PeruRail is the third highest railway in the world after the Qinghai–Tibet Railway to Tibet and the FCCA line from Lima to Huancayo, and is the longest line in Peru.     —Wikipedia

Photo source: Wikipedia

The night before the big day (trip to Machu Picchua), we were told by our tour guide to get our luggage packed and place it outside of our hotel room before 4:45 am and the breakfast would start serving at 4:30 am.

Unlike other trips, this one was more like a mission. At around 5:15 am, we carried our backpack, hiking sticks, camera… and were ready to get on the tour bus. Everyone was quiet and looked pretty anxious. M came to me and said,”Smile, Amy…”, but he wasn’t smiling. I said something to hubby, he didn’t hear a word.

The tour bus dropped us off at the Cuzco train station. And the train journey started a little after 7:00 am.

The scenery of this 90-minute train trip was stunning, say the least. It was difficult to stand still on the train. Somehow, I managed to take some photos through windows on both sides of the train with my iPhone 8+.

“The line between Cusco and Machu Picchu – Ferrocarril Santa Ana – is a 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge line, which boasts a series of five switchbacks called locally ‘El Zig-Zag’, which enable the train to climb up the steep incline out of Cusco, before it can begin its descent to the Sacred Valley of the Incas and then continue down to Machu Picchu.”     — Wikipedia

N and I went to the back of the train to take a few more photos. This forest extends all the way to Peruvian Amazon Rainforest.

Off the train, we were transported to a local bus to Muchu Picchu. We, then, showed our passport to get the entrance ticket. Finally, we passed the narrow gate and followed the path. A while later, the majestic Muchu Picchu mountains appeared right in front of us.

From there on, we couldn’t stop clicking. Except N, she walked up toward the mountains, then stretched out her arms yelling, “OMG! I made it, Michua Picchu!!! I love, love it! ” Actually, we had some serious hiking ahead of us.

When I saw this sign pointing to Machu Piccha, my heart was pounding fast…

We started hiking up then down to the ruin. It was a few minutes before 10 am. It was cloudy, but no rain.

Thank you for visiting my Enchanting Peru series #6. 🙂

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #34: Close-Up

Why close up photography? One of photographers explains, “Taking images close-up is a fun way to rethink items we see every day, or explore something you think you know well, like your backyard.”

When you get a close-up shot, you are able to appreciate the unexpected details and lovely shapes of petals.

“If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.”

~ Robert Capa

These morning raindrops were captured last spring in my backyard:

Every once a while, I get a close-up photo of a horse. Like Mr. B, Ms. W is gentle, patient, and cooperative. I captured her eye with my 60mm macro lens.

Take a look of the beautiful jewels Ann-Christine found in her abandoned flower pot. She reminds us, “You certainly don’t have to buy a macro lens – most cameras are good at close-ups. If you have a smartphone/android/iPhone – you will be surprised how easily you get good results.” Thank you, Ann-Christine for the inspiring challenge theme.

Join us. Make a link to Ann_Christine post and tag your post.

Lens-Artists Challenge #33: Nature

“The three great elemental sounds in nature are the sound of rain, the sound of wind in a primeval wood, and the sound of outer ocean on a beach.” ~ Henry Beston

Here in Texas, you don’t have to go very far to enjoy nature, many nature preserve local parks offer that.

This trail is just a couple miles away from us.

Often they leave dead branches on the ground. They look like sculpture displays along the trail, like this one:

Walk a little deeper, you’ll see some old trees look like giant sculptures. I often think they are tell the stories of nature–their growth and struggles.



If you look carefully , you can find lots of Texas native milkweeds in the woods. Milkweeds are there to keep Monarchs happy.

Besides sculptures of old trees and branches, milkweed pods and webs are small ornaments in the woods.

If you take an early morning walk, you can see deer here and there.

Texas Gulf Coast is beautiful especial at dawn.

Oh yes, it’s a great place for birding! The Aransas National Wildlife Refuge had been established in 1937 to serve as “a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife.”

Take a moment to visit Remain with nature. A moving rythm through the elephant.

Patti is taking us to Fiji Islands. Patti describes eloquently, “The silence was punctuated by the thrum of insects, the call of parrots, and the slow slap of the waves at the beach…”

Thank you, Patti for your stories and beautiful photos and offering us an opportunity to share the beauty of nature around us.

Ann-Christine will host Lens Artists Photo Challenge next week. Stay tuned. 

Thank you for visiting!

Lens-Artists Challenge #32 – Shadows

“Capturing the balance between shadow detail and highlight detail is one of the cornerstones of taking a well exposed image.” (shuttermuse.com) This may explain why shadow photography is fascinating and challenging at the same time.

Morning sun through the window created nice shadows in quiet area at the London airport.

The changing shadows made the hallway of the Miho Museum fascinating:

Miho Museum, Japan

Many streets in Seville, Spain are very narrow. We were told that the shade/shadows from either side of the buildings can keep the street/alley cooler during summer.

Seville, Spain

The first time I learned about taking photos of shadows was at the rim of Grand Canyon. It was a beautiful evening, people were crowded there waiting for the sunset scene; a photographer was busy setting up his camera gear. After a brief pleasant exchange with him, minutes later I found myself was shooting side by side with him. I had no idea how to capture the sunset scenes of GC. Luckily, Bill, the photographer, took time to explain to me how sun was setting and how that affects shadows moment by moment, as he was clicking his camera cable. Bill also pointed a spot and told me specifically to include the shadows. He then asked me to show him the photos I captured. Sometime ago, I wrote a story “Bill, the photographer

The next evening, I was on my own. This was my lucky shot:

This boy was having fun watching a squirrel. 🙂

“… there are shadows because there are hills. “
–  E.M.Forster, “A Room with a View”

Thanks to Tina for hosting the shadow theme. Tina captured the beauty of shadows and lights in many different ways. Click to here to see her beautiful photos. Join us, remember to make a link to Tina’s post and tag your post.

Tune in to Patti’s Pilotfish post next week for Challenge #33.

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Horns

My entry for Cee’s B&W: Texas Longhorns

Texas Annual Western Heritage Parade:

According to Wikipedia, Texas longhorn is a breed of cattle known for its characteristic horns, which can extend to over 1.8 m (5.9 ft) tip to tip for bulls, and up to 100 in (8.3 ft) tip to tip for steers and exceptional cows.

Thank you for visiting!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #31: Landscapes

“Landscape photography shows spaces within the world, sometimes vast and unending, but other times microscopic. Landscape photographs typically capture the presence of nature but can also focus on man-made features or disturbances of landscapes.” — Wikipedia

Our photo challenge for this week is landscapes. As I was going through hundreds of my archived landscape photos, they brought back many fond memories. I Hope you will enjoy them.

Mount Evans is over 9,000 feet above the Denver metropolitan. This trip to Denver was one of my few solo trips. I joined a tour group and met four other single woman travelers; the driver was also a woman. We saw some spectacular scenery as the bus climbed up, but also experienced rapid weather changes there. In 30 minutes or so, it quickly turned into cloudy, windy, and rainy, weather.

Mount Evans, Colorado

The landscape north of Abiquiu, New Mexico is vast and absolutely beautiful. In 1977, Georgia O’Keeffe wrote: “[the] cliffs over there are almost painted for you—you think—until you try to paint them.” Ansel Adams was one of the many guests to visit her at the ranch over the years.

“In landscapes of silent rock, reflecting water and parting cloud I feel most connected to myself and to life itself.” 

–William Neill

Seattle, WA

The landscape between Edinburgh and Inverness is indeed picturesque:

Dolomites, Italy had been one of the few places that we kept returning to again and again. Back then, we couldn’t think of a better place for our vacation:

“And the world cannot be discovered  by a journey of miles, no matter how long, but only by a spiritual journey, a journey of one inch, very arduous and humbling and joyful, by which we arrive at the ground at our feet, and learn to be at home.”

— Wendell Berry

Banff, Canada

The mountains are calling and I must go.  –John Muir

Rocky Mountain, Colorado

We look forward to seeing your photos of the lands you’ve discovered, either in your travels or closer to home.

A vast, majestic, mountainous landscape photo is poetically presented. Take a look.


Thanks to Ann-Christine for the unexpected theme. Her beautiful unexpected photos and stories have inspired all of us.

Have you seen these:

So glad you joined L-A community. 🙂

Stay tuned for Tina’s Lens Artists Photo Challenge next week!



Guidelines for participating Lens Artists Photo Challenge:

  • Tag your post with lens-artists  so others can easily find it in the WordPress Reader.

  • Create a link to this post.

  • Subscribe to all 4 moderator blogs to receive the challenge each week.

           Patti of https://pilotfishblog.com/

           Ann-Christine of https://lagottocattleya.wordpress.com/

           Amy of https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/

           Tina of https://travelsandtrifles.wordpress.com/

  • Lens-Artists Photo Challenges are published every Saturday at 12 noon EST by one of our moderators. Post your reply any time before the next challenge is announced.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #30: Unexpected (Enchanting Peru 5)

This week Ann-Christine hosts Unexpected for Lens Artists Photo Challenge, “My post hopefully will contain something you would not expect from me!” It was unexpected and such a fun post.

On a sunny morning, our tour bus stopped at a very low-key, but picturesque village in Peru, we looked around and didn’t know what to expect.

Off the bus, our tour guide introduced this beautiful chapel: “This Baroque church was built during the 16th century. When you walk in you’ll know what made the church so famous.”

Inside was an eye-popping kaleidoscope–a dazzling display of colorful murals, a painted ceiling and an ornate gold-leaf altar. So very unexpected.

The Saint Peter the Apostle Church of Andahuaylill has earned the name of “The Sistine Chapel of the Andes.”

No photos were allowed inside. These two photos below are from Google Images.

After visiting the Saint Peter the Apostle Church of Andahuaylillas, our tour bus began climbing up and up…

Now we are at the Abra la Raya. It is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 4.350m (14,271ft) above the sea level.

The scenic drive was unexpected.


A few days ago, I took look through the WP traffic analysis and saw some interesting and unexpected results.

Among 30 Lens-Artists Photo Challenge posts and other posts so far, The “My Travels” post is listed as the most popular post based on the numbers of views.

next was the “Curve“.

As you may have noticed, my blog topics incline to the beauty of nature and my travels. So it’s a surprise to see my two book reviews are ranked next to my popular Lens-Artists posts according to WP’s report; one is And the Mountains Echoed and the other Beneath a Scarlet Sky.

One of my favorite quotes in the “And the Mountains Echoed“: “They say, find a purpose in your life and live it. But, sometimes, it is only after you have lived that you recognize your life had a purpose, and likely one you never had in mind.” — Khaled Hosseini (author)

The last part (scene) of the “Beneath a Scarlet Sky”:

Then at last he took off his glasses the sun was setting, casting the lake in coppers and golds. He wiped away tears and put his glasses back on…. “ Forgive an old man his memories,” Pino said, “Some loves never die.” ‘ He was 89 years old.   — Mark Sullivan (author)

The story began in Dolomite (Italy Alps) when Pino was only 18 years old.

Many thanks to my blog friends and followers for your support. 🙂

“Did something totally unexpected happen today? Did you meet someone unexpected at the grocery store, or did you find something in an unexpected place …or, maybe You are up to something unexpected?” Join us and share your photos and stories.

Thanks to Ann-Christine for hosting this fun theme. Remember to make a link to Ann-Christine’s post and tag your post.



  • tag your post with lens-artists  so others can easily find it in the WordPress Reader.

  • Create a link to this post.

  • Subscribe to all 4 moderator blogs to receive the challenge each week.

           Patti of https://pilotfishblog.com/

           Ann-Christine of https://lagottocattleya.wordpress.com/

           Amy of https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/

           Tina of https://travelsandtrifles.wordpress.com/

  • Lens-Artists Photo Challenges are published every Saturday at 12 noon EST by one of our moderators. Post your reply any time before the next challenge is announced.

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