Machu Picchu at Dawn

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The Incan city of Machu Picchu, in the remote Peruvian Andes, as seen at dawn.

In the midst of the towering Andes Mountains of Peru, I’m not really sure how to define “dawn”. Is it when the sun rises above the distant horizon, or when it crests the mountains and first becomes visible? As you can tell from the rays in the background, this photograph was taken when the sun first rose above the mountains. But these mountains are so high, and more importantly so steep, that the sun was already pretty high in the sky. The first light to hit the ruins of Machu Picchu was not as soft and golden as I had envisioned. And the sky was well on its way towards midday blue. Even so, it was absolutely magical to watch the sun rise over the Andes and kiss these beautiful Incan ruins.

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