by John

Ok.  This is under the “Other Stuff” heading.

I have not done much in the workshop lately, so, I dug out some photos of a trip I made in 2008 to Peru, with my daughter Elisabeth.  I took heaps of photos, but these are some of my favourites.


Some of the awesome stonework in Cuzco. Built by the Incas 500-600 years ago. The Spanish invaders demolished the “pagan” buildings above and built their own buildings on the Inca foundations. The locals laughed when earthquakes repeatedly demolished the European parts of the buildings and left the Inca bits undisturbed.   Note the continuity of the horizontal lines.  How much effort would  have been required for the architect-stonemasons to ensure that continuity.  And apart from the beautiful aesthetic it produces, I wonder if that continuity has any other significance?  



About half of Peru is Amazon rain forest. My daughter Elisabeth worked in an animal refuge near Iquitos, in this region. Looking after panthers, anacondas, monkeys and others, which had been brought to the refuge after being injured. Yes, my daughter is an amazing person, and I am immensely proud of her.


Elisabeth with some of the locals in their traditional dress. They are happy to pose for photos for a very small fee.


Huge stones fitted together so tightly that a razor blade cannot be passed into the gaps. Ancient aliens must have done this! Or very clever and determined Incas.


Yes, I became addicted to looking at the stone work. It was amazing, awesome, unbelievable and beautiful.


Hand woven rugs for sale to the tourists. Cheap.


Our first day of a 5 day hike to MachuPicchu. Not the regular tourist route. In the background is Mt Sankaltay. I could understand why they thought it sacred. We camped near its base, next to a glacier.


The first night our tents and the ground were covered with about 100mm of snow. Quite an experience for someone from Australia. The next morning we climbed to 15,000 feet, slowly. The glacier is in the background. We are close to the top of the pass in this photo.  That is me in the foreground.  When the guide found out my age (60)  he wanted to put me on a horse!  No way!  Horses hate me.


The locals have striking attractive faces.


There were 2 horse handlers. The horses carried our tents, food and supplies. We carried day packs only. 2 Canadians, Elisabeth and me. I was the oldest and the least fit, and the slowest, but I made it. I imagined that if I had a health problem, I could be helicoptered out, only to learn that helicopters cannot reach these heights. The trails were sometimes very narrow and quite dangerous, cut out of cliff sides, and sometimes rough creek beds.


MachuPicchu. Breath taking.




The agricultural terraces at MachuPicchu, and some restored buildings. Only a few of the buildings have been restored, to show what they would have looked like in their heyday.


Me, on a floating island on Lake Titicaca. The locals are very tiny, They lived on the lake to escape the Incas, who were expansive aggressive and violent. The islands are made of reeds which are bundled together, and replenished every year. It was cold. Extraordinary.


The characteristic doorway shape of the Incas.  Note the incredibly tight joints, made by non metal hand tools, which have withstood earthquakes, conquistadores, and 5 centuries of weathering.

The characteristic doorway shape of the Incas. Note the incredibly tight joints, made by non metal hand tools, which have withstood earthquakes, conquistadores, and 5 centuries of weathering.