My husband and I took the same photo as was on the front page of the Travel section ["Reaching Its Peak?" July 24]. I always describe Machu Picchu to others as "magical," and then there are those interesting spots that appear in many photos ... ours included.
Back in 2004, we stayed overnight at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge right next-door to the ruins.
We just wanted to be able to enjoy the ruins before and after the swarm of tourists.
It was an expensive night's stay but so worth it! Plus, with the extra time, we were crazy enough to climb Huayna Picchu and ended up hand-feeding bananas to a not-so-wild hawk at the very top. Thanks for bringing back memories of our most memorable trip ever.
Rancho Palos Verdes
On our July 2009 visit to Machu Picchu, we left Cuzco by train in the morning, checked into our hotel in Aguas Calientes before lunch, spent the afternoon hiking in the rain forests around town and took the first bus up to the ruins the next morning. We watched the sun rise over the spectacular ruins as the mists around the surrounding peaks dissolved away. There were fewer than 30 people with us at that hour, and we had the place to ourselves till the first train from Cuzco and the hordes of tourists began arriving. The mystique and beauty of this truly unique place can only be appreciated when it is quiet and uncrowded.
It's about profit
I was dismayed to see the Valley View feature in the L.A. Times Travel section ["Caesars It's Not, but Oh, the Lobster!" July 24] promoting casino gambling. This is not any kind of special or historic place, but a money-making operation that preys on the false hopes of the desperate.
Michael de Villiers
I just read "Enjoy Your New Seat" [On the Spot, July 24] about the traveler whose seat was assigned and then unassigned. A friend of mine who is going to London on British Airways bought two business-class tickets for about $8,000. She wanted to nail down their seat assignments, but selecting seats more than 24 hours ahead would cost $89 per ticket. Considering what she has already spent on these tickets, this is outrageous. I hope this will not be the direction other airlines are going.
Kudos on photo
It was an amazing picture by Madeline Karabian [Your Scene, July 31]. When I first saw it before reading the description, I couldn't figure out whether it was a picture of flowers blooming or some nighttime decoration with Christmas string lights. After I read the description, it was more amazing how Karabian captured the flares just right in the air.