Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Marveling at the Night Sky

One of the most pleasant surprises of this trip has been the night skies.  Obviously, there was too much light pollution and/or cloud cover in Cuzco and Lima to see an appreciable amount of stars.  However, the skies in Pisac and Ollantaytambo were incredible.  Small towns in the US also let you see the stars, but these nights of stargazing were even more special because we’re in the Southern Hemisphere, and all the stars are different.  The stars make you think of space, and from there, it’s easy to get into some interesting discussions.  In both these small towns, though, the lifestyle was very simple and repetitive.  After one day each in Pisac and Ollantaytambo, we felt like we had seen all we had to see, and were on the verge of boredom.  The only places where we had seen a fantastic night sky were places where we would never want to live.  I’ll most likely be in urban areas for the entire summer, and then it’s back to Vanderbilt.  I hardly ever get the chance to see hundreds of stars like I did here.  But maybe a full night sky is so special for me only because it is so rare.  I have to think that, if I were able to see stars every night, after a while they would cease to be amazing.

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