Minggu, 06 Juli 2014

Ollantaytambo Behind the Lens; Peru Beyond Macchu Picchu

Another summer has come, and I have just realised how quickly time has passed! I have no plans yet for this summer but to go back to Indonesia for a few weeks. It will be another summer of sun before getting back to Glasgow's autumn air. Last summer I was in Peru with National Geographic doing Archaeology stuff: having fun in the ruins, doing illustrations and getting a proper tan (if not sun burn). I feel like I owe the internet my photos, I know I'm supposed to do this like months ago, but laziness :)

Peru is not all about Macchu Picchu, even though it has been given the title a 'trip of a lifetime' by many, or Cuzco, the city of gold. In fact, I fell in love with a dusty tiny town. So I flew from Solo to Jakarta, Amsterdam, Panama City, Lima, Cuzco, and took a bus ride to this little town called Ollantaytambo. Ollantaytambo wasn't all that pretty, buildings with grey stone walls dominated Ollantaytambo town centre and the dust flying in the dry air made a grim first impression to me.

The town was an old Incan settlement and a fort, which explained why most of the buildings looked so grim. Today's Ollantaytambo was built over the ancient Incan stonework foundations and retaining most of the ancient Incan town layout, from the temples, town square to the farms. The town is a perfect playground to any Archaeology geeks out there, but it has that subtle charms that appealed to my wandering eyes.

At that time, my Spanish was very limited to basic phrases and broken sentences, but the locals were so friendly. My attempts to communicate with them were reciprocated with warm welcoming gestures. The locals wore tattered clothes with faces stained with dust, living in their simple houses and smiling at you as you walked past their doors; and so I fell in love with their simplicity.

Ollantaytambo is so grey and so simple, but I saw colours so vibrant and warm when you look closer.

Life is so slow in Ollantaytambo, the sun is the timekeeper. He will tell you when to wake up in the morning, and in the afternoon it will cast its golden rays to the grey alleys of Ollantaytambo. You'll walk down the streets and see no one rushing their way, so you'll feel silly for walking that fast. You'll stop, look at the warm afternoon sunlight reflected on the cobbled street and understand why people live their life here so slowly, because the sun will never forget to keep their time.


Afternoon in Ollantaytambo
Ollantaytambo, August 2013
Canon EOS 60D
Canon EF-S 14-22 mm
77 mm CPL
digital

A man greeting a boy still wearing his school uniform on the streets of Ollantaytambo.



After School
Ollantaytambo, August 2013
Canon EOS 60D
Canon EF-S 18-135 mm
67 mm UV
digital



Peruvian Woman
Ollantaytambo, August 2013
Canon EOS 60D
Canon EF-S 18-135 mm
67 mm UV
digital

A woman walking down an alley in Ollantaytambo.
The braids, cardigan and skirt are the typical fashion around.



Andean Man
Ollantaytambo, August 2013
Canon EOS 60D
Canon EF-S 14-22mm
77 mm CPL
digital

A man in traditional Andean clothing standing in front of a cafĂ© catering for tourists. 



Knocking
Ollantaytambo, August 2013
Canon EOS 60D
Canon EF-S 14-22mm
77 mm CPL
digital

A woman knocking the door of a restaurant,
she waited for a good 15 minutes before someone opened the door.


I spent most of my time in Peru roaming the streets of Ollantaytambo, doing Archaeological researches and making sketches (you'll need an artist even in an Archaeology project, and that'd be me!), talking to the locals and bargaining for 'baby alpaca' sweaters. I began the trip looking as pale as I can be (that's what you'll get from the English weather).

Then boom! Super tanned a few weeks later, and it was not even close to how tanned I was by the end of the trip. I went darker from this and my skin was at the severely burnt stage where the skin on my face actually peeled off.

I love Ollantaytambo's laid back atmosphere but the group has to continue the journey to Macchu Picchu then to Cuzco before the final exhibition of our Archaeological and Photography project in the town centre of Ollantaytambo.

So I bagged a nice tan and a pair of badass boots home (and a long story to tell as well).  So I've made a film about my trip, and it's on YouTube if you fancy listening to me talking for 90 seconds.




Oh, and because no blog posts about Peru is complete without a classic Macchu Picchu shot :)


Macchu Picchu
Peru, August 2013
Canon EOS 60D
Canon EF-S 14-22mm
77 mm CPL
digital

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