kerry m halasz

my world in pictures and words

hello!

The sun is finally out here in Atlanta! It’s been dreary, cold and rainy recently. I’ve felt like I’ve been living in Seattle instead of the South!  (although I really do love Seattle)

My stomach is dropping steadily as I prepare the first of what I hope will be many posts on my new blog. I’m so excited/anxious/hopeful. And I just remembered that my daughter urged me to use only one space between periods at the end of sentences.  I’ve already had to correct that twice! There is definitely a lot to learn about the wonderful world of blogging. I hope I can handle it all!

Since I love to travel the world I thought I’d start with a post about our family trip to Peru last summer. My youngest daughter, Katy, is serving in the Peace Corps there and of course we had to plan a trip to visit her. We are all so proud of what she’s accomplished while there and I’ll be posting about that, too. My intention with this blog is to share my world through my photography while interacting with my followers and offering some photo tips and tricks and more.  The more part will evolve…

salkantay_trail2-0365-EditKaty is serving her Peace Corps tour in a very small town in Peru.  We decided to forgo journeying there on this trip and instead met up with everyone in Cusco where we embarked on a 5 day walking trek to Machu Picchu.  Yes, I did say a five day walking trek! Ultimately we would ascend to an elevation of 15,340 feet.  Just talking about it makes me lose my breath again! It was a wondrous, amazing, spectacular trip.

salkantay_trail2-0437The we I refer to is my family of three daughters, one husband, a beloved brother in law, my niece and nephew and on this trip, a soon to be fiancé of our middle daughter.  I travel with my extended family often and absolutely love it.  We get along swimmingly!

We chose the Salkantay Trek offered by Peru for Less, a subsidiary of Latin America for Less.  We would be walking during the days with a guide and sleeping in campsites at night.  Our food was prepared at each stop by a team of very talented people who had the amazing ability to cook incredible meals in small cook tents with limited supplies.  Every meal was delicious!

Along the way we were overcome with emotion at the sight of high Andean peaks covered in deep, white snow with clouds wedged between, seemingly painted there.  Every vista took our breath away.

salkantay_trail-0272-EditAnd if the vista didn’t take my breath away, the elevation did!  I thought I was in pretty good shape for this challenge, but apparently the hills here in my subdivision don’t really compare at all to those in the Andes. I do have to admit that I took our guide up on his offer of a horse to ride on a couple of times!  None of us really suffered from any of the side effects of altitude, however, so that was a relief!

At the end of each day’s walking our guides would have our tents set up and ready for us along with a tub of nice hot water to freshen up with and a big cup of hot coca tea.  It was perfect, really.  There was no internet along the way so each evening found us sitting around talking and laughing and playing cards.  Is there anything better than uninterrupted family time? Well, maybe being served amazing food, but still…

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The highlights/surprises/challenges of this trek including seeing an avalanche, actually making it up to 15,340 feet on two legs, being with Katy after not seeing her for more than a year, losing a big toenail because I insisted that my 11 year old hiking shoes were just fine, sleeping in a tent in the snow at 14,000 feet and that first glimpse of Machu Picchu from afar. What an adventure!

I did bring my “big” camera along on this trip and I’m glad I did.  I love my iPhone, but I don’t think it would have done the scenery justice. I used my Canon 5D Mark II and my workhorse lens, the 28-70 2.8.  It’s a heavy lens, but I made my husband carry it.  (just kidding)

I’ll finish this trip out in my next post.  It’s time to walk Jackson and Gus! Thank you so much for reading my first post all the way through!

If you’re interested in traveling to Machu Picchu and love a physical challenge, consider making this trip. The tour company, http://www.peruforless.com/packages/trekking-salkantay.php is wonderful and affordable.

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