And here are some pics from Machu Pichu. The setting is so stunning. Even though you see it in pictures so you know - it is still breath taking to see it in person. Our guide Eirton patiently listening to one of my many questions. Nice view of the main city where the elites lived. The terracing is amazing. They started at the bottom, and then terraced up to the top. The rock pile at the bottom left was the quary where they got the stones to make the buildings. One thing that I have come to realize is that we see these stone ruins, and they have a certain "harsh" look about them, being all stone. But they were not originally all stone - these structures would have been covered with straw roofs. And this would significantly change, soften, the visual look. We do not see it as it was - but it is fun to try and imagine. The terraces were actually used for gardening, and the climate changes enough from the lower to the upper terraces that they grew different vegetables at different levels based on this micro climate. There is not enough acreage to have supplied all the food necessary for the city - this was just supplemental. The city relied on supplies brought in from the surrounding empire, using the Inca road system. Here on these buildings they have restored the straw roof covering, so you can get a sense of how that would change the look of what we see today, were all the buildings covered in a similar fashion. These basins were filled with water and used for solar observation. There were other structures built to align in various ways with the sun at the solstices. Obligatory Llama pic. Ok - two pics. They were to cute to pass up.