Before we left New Zealand, in that slightly manic, why-are-we-doing-this time preceding departure, we printed out a few bits of random information we thought might be useful. The plan was that as we got to the relevant place, we would have time to read at leisure.
One of these sheets was a from a travel blogger whose name I have forgotten. This man had visited Machu Picchu with his family, when he probably should have stayed safely in Denver, or wherever he came from. He spends quite a bit of time describing the dangers, particularly to his wife and child, or falling off the various "death drops" around. For example:
"I conclude Machu Picchu Mountain would be a much better option than Huaynu Picchu, primarily because MMP is much less dangerous than HP and less crowded. From what I heard, there are still some scary drop-offs and places where you don't want to stumble, but it's not nearly as scary and life-threatening as HP. I like the sound of that."
Don't we all. Actually, I reckon you are probably more likely to die of a heart attack from spending two hours walking up steps at a 45-degree angle, and 3000 metres of altitude. We passed several people who perhaps shouldn't have taken the risk and instead stayed at the main site. And that blogger guy doesn't even mention that risk.
Then he moves onto some photographic advice.
"Obviously it's very important to get some good pictures while you are there. Personally I think the most important picture is one with you and your party standing with Machu Picchu in the background... When most people think of Machu Picchu, they picture this one specific view of the ruins that you see everywhere in magazines and travel guides, with the Huaynu Picchu mountain in the background. You want that exact picture, except with you and your party in it."
And the first thing you think is "what a dickhead".
And then of course you go to Machu Picchu and you take that photo. And maybe a couple of others...