The Sunday Post: Sunrise

Rise and Shine!  Jakesprinter’s Sunday post for the week is a wonderful topic which unfortunately I haven’t had much experience with: Sunrise. Of course I find the sunrise absolutely spectacular and perhaps equally if not even more beautiful than the sunset.  But seldom am I up for the sunrise!

When we were raising very young kids, I unfortunately experienced a few too many sunrises outside my bedroom window as my son Max would wake to the call of the rising sun at an awful 4:45 or 5 am throughout the entire summer after he was born.  This was of course after he had been up at least twice during the night. Understandably, I did not truly appreciate the joy and beauty of sunrise for many years as I was half asleep and too grouchy to care.  (Sleep deprivation: The joys of parenting, huh?)

Given my true desire to sleep in to at least seven, the only real sunrise pictures I have are when I was forced to wake up early due to a trek.  Thankfully that is something I have done quite often yet I still have very few pictures of the sunrise because (a) I’m not a real early morning person and I was most likely half-sleepwalking at the start of a pre-dawn trek (b) Most photos I took of the sunrise did not turn out (c) I never really thought about catching the sunrise on film for fear it wouldn’t turn out.  (Wimp!). 

Thus, I have very few photos to choose from for this photo challenge but I was able to find four different places where I actually had the wherewithal to take a sunrise photo.  Here they are….

Take one:  Sunrise 4 am in the Andes Mountains, Peru. November 2001. 

Why this photo is special:  This was our last and fourth day of trekking the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.  We rose in complete darkness, exhausted from a night of high-altitude beer drinking yet exhilarated to finally be closing in on our destination.  I could hardly contain my excitement for seeing the crown jewel of Incan civilization!  It was a still morning, peaceful and serene, as we began our final hour and a half trek in the black sky. I took this photo right before we set off on the journey. It was so beautiful.

Take Two:  A little after sunrise, Manang, Nepal in the Himalayas. November 2010. 

Why this photo is special: I took this photo the first morning after we arrived in Manang. It had snowed all day during our grueling eight-hour hike and we were so disappointed to not see a thing.  We went to bed cold and exhausted yet as the sun rose and a beam of light peaked through the curtains of our rustic room, I knew it was going to be a sensational day. I drew the curtain back and gasped at the pure beauty of the sun rising over the freshly coated Himalayas.  Wow.

Take three:  Sunrise over the Guatemalan Highlands as I climbed up the Santa Maria Volcano.  March 2012. 

Why this photo is special: My guide and I had set off in the pitch black morning skies on our trek up the Santa Maria Volcano. I had no headlamp thus continually tripped and slid my way up the steep trail for the first hour. I was praying for the sun to rise to make it easier and more importantly to see my surroundings. Finally at half past six the sun began to rise and lighten up the sky. I love the pinkish-red hues of the mountainside in this photo. Little did I know what an exciting day this would be!  I would see a live volcano erupt! Truly memorable!

Take four: Morning sunrise in remote Skatafell National Park, Iceland. July 2008.

Why this photo is special? We woke up to the sun casting her glorious light through the thin wool shades draping over the windows. My heart smiled. It was sunny!  Although I was tired from the long drive and late night meal, I could hardly wait to get up and put on my dirty hiking shoes and clothes. I jumped out of bed, walked over to the shade and pulled it gently aside. It was picture perfect. Not a cloud in the sky and the sun was beaming brilliantly across the verdant green hills. I knew that this was going to be a day to remember. One of those quintessential postcard-perfect days of hiking in Iceland.

To read more entries for this photo challenge, click here.

Stay tuned….I may be slowing down a bit this week and this summer as it is getting very busy! Comments are always welcome! I will reply but it may be slower than usual. As always, thanks for reading! thirdeyemom


  1. Great photos and stories. I do not often wake for sunrise myself but when you do! Enjoy the summer and thanks for sharing.

  2. As a morning person, I’m almost always up at the crack of dawn–as is Sara, so, we have plenty of sunrise shots. Yours are lovely, Nicole. Hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend–i.e. seen not a single sunrise!

  3. Lu

    Never mind that you don’t wake up in time for sunrise on a daily basis – the fact that you have seen some spectacular sunrises from stunning locations around the world more than makes up for the lack of quantity!

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