Los Angeles, CA
In April 2011, I flew down to Lima, Peru to cover a poker tournament. Nicky was covering a different tournament in Connecticut, but I got the lucky assignment. Once in a lifetime opportunity.
I spent three straight days working inside a Lima casino with my pal Shamus, plus a Argentinian fisherman turned photographer. In that short stint, I became a VIP at the sportsbook because I was their "highroller" for betting a couple hundred a night on the NBA. When the trip was over, I couldn't wait to get out of Lima and explore the ruins of Peru with my travel companions Shirley and Sos. We planned to climb Machu Picchu, which was on my bucket list of must-visit places.
Words cannot describe the significance of my trip to Machu Picchu. The visit coincided with one of the worst days in the online poker industry (Black Friday when the DOJ shut down the two biggest online poker rooms). My future was in jeopardy, but none of that mattered because I was in the middle of the most spiritual experience of my life.
I never really posted much climbing Machu Picchu. I wrote about it numerous times but the material was too personal and I never published it. I hope I can write something a little less personal in the near future, but like a lot of non-essential things, it's on a long list of things I'd like to write if/when I have the time.
I published two Truckin' pieces inspired by my trip to Machu Picchu and Cusco with friends Shirley and Sos. Check out: Cusco and Ollantaytambo to Augas Caliente.
I also uploaded an entire photo gallery. Four actually: Machu Picchu, Cusco, Aguas Caliente, and Lima.
However, I dropped the ball in the video department. I shot a ton of video, but never got around to uploading anything to YouTube. I kept postponing and procrastinating. I envisioned an hour-long video that covered my entire trip to Peru, but that seemed too daunting, so I wanted to break it up into much smaller individual videos. Yet, I never did that either. The raw files are scattered over two laptops and somewhere on an external hard drive. It was one of those projects that got left out of the mix. I had to move to Vegas right after the trip and had very little time to do anything except cover WSOP and thought I'd do it at the end of the summer when Phish tour ended. But I got into a car accident and moved to San Francisco. While in SF, I was stuck in my own fog, and never got around to splicing anything together. When I moved back to LA, the Machu Picchu videos was always on my TO DO list of creative projects... although it was never near the top. It was in that secondary column of personal endeavors that I'd find sometime to do if I had a wretched batch of insomnia. Alas, Machu Picchu got lost in shuffle between work, other projects, and... life.
While cleaning up my office this weekend, I came across one of the videos from Machu Picchu. I'm in a highly-ambitious, manic phase right now, so I did not hesitate to fire up YouTube and upload it. As is, too. Totally raw. I didn't want to postpone these Machu Picchu and Peru videos for another three years. In a weird, cool way... stumbling upon this video is enough serendipitous inspiration to finally get me off my ass and finish something I've been wanting to do for three years. One video a month is not too much to ask, right?
Here's the first video from Machu Picchu in a new ongoing series. It's not even a half of a minute, but I climb a stone stairway to a ceremonial area of Machu Picchu. Waiting for me at the top are my friends Shirley and Sos...
If you're fascinated by Peru, check out my photo galleries: Machu Picchu, Cusco, Aguas Caliente, and Lima.