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Sachintha Gurudeniya (Sach)
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Stairway to Heaven

Machu Picchu was always at the top of the 'Places to Go' list, so after one failed attempt and a lot of frustrations, when we finally got there it was totally worth it.

The whole country of Peru is such a gorgeous place, the Andes mountain range is amazingly beautiful, but Machu Picchu just takes the cake. We were there for 4 days, and we enjoyed it to the fullest. It's not always that your dreams come true, so when they do, you better make them memorable.

#MachuPicchu #AguasCaliantes #Peru #Inca #History #Nature #Travel #Landscape
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Please consider sparing a few bucks for this fighting spirit!

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In the category of "really weird things I did not know:" apparently figs and certain wasps have co-evolved into a sort of single organism, with the wasps acting as highly mobile sex organs. It's basically what happens if you take "insects pollinating flowers" to its logical conclusion.

Essentially, a female wasp shows up at a fig, pollen in tow and laden with egs, enters the fig, spreads the pollen around, lays her eggs, and dies. Some of the fig's ovaries are now fertilized by pollen; they develop seeds. Others have wasp eggs; they form a shell around the eggs. Male wasps hatch first; they have no wings, but instead travel around the inside of the fig, fertilize the females (still in their eggs), cut escape hatches for them, and then die. Next the male flowers mature and produce pollen. Next, the female wasps hatch, already fertilized; they get covered in pollen, and fly out, in search of another fig. The wasps which die in the fig get digested by it and turned into more fig.

Which is to say, the wasp's entire life cycle is basically loading up on the parts to make more wasps and more figs, and then finding a fig. 

There are a few variations on this, summarized in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fig_wasp . But basically, figs have managed to turn wasps into part of their biology, and can be considered to be part-animal, part-plant. Others instead would say that the figs are eating the wasps, which I suppose is also true, but that really understates the complexity of this relationship.

Apparently this is also enough for some people to consider figs not to be vegan. (cf http://www.organicauthority.com/health/figs-are-they-vegan.html , although to make it clear I am not endorsing any of the, well, anything on this site; it's just an example of what arguments around the kosher vegan status of the fig look like)

Mostly, this gives me an urge for figs. 

Via @silentkpants on Twitter.
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Tranquility
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During my last visit to Sri Lanka, I was on my way to the eastern beaches, and to do so you have to go through some of the most remote parts of the country. This is a reservoir (yes, it's man made, not a natural lake, and Sri Lanka is home to some of the largest man made reservoirs in the world) in such place. Remote, unspoilt and tranquil.

#SriLanka #Reservoir #Travel
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Below the Sea Level
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My good friend Danushka visited me this winter break, and on a whim we decided that we should go to Death Valley the next day, and we did indeed end up going there the next day. We pretty much knew nothing about where exactly to go, just entered 'Death Valley' to Google Maps and headed there. I knew about the Moving Rocks, I was hoping to see them if possible, but upon arriving at the visitor center we learned that they are further 50 miles or so away, and then from there we needed to go a further 27 miles on allegedly a very bad dirt road. So that was out of the question.

But then we learned there are other quite interesting places around, the Badwater Basin among them, which is the lowest point in North America at 85.5m below sea level. Which was pretty cool, I don't think I've ever been on land below sea level before.

#USA #California #DeathValley #Travel #HDR #BadwaterBasin #Lanscape

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Added photos to Drink and Click™ January's Chapter Wide Challenge - Double Exposure.

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Added photos to Drink and Click™ Las Vegas - Monthly Photowalk.
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