Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Lima, Cuzco, and Machu Picchu, Peru - January 26 to 29, 2008

Lima’s Cathedral on the Plaza de Armas, where Francisco Pizarro lies buried following his conquest of Peru

The Pacific coast in the Mire Flores neighborhood of Lima. Many on our trip commented that it looks like the coast in Santa Monica, California, although this cliff is higher and in a much drier environment. Lima sometimes goes years without rain

A modern and lively shopping center is a popular meeting place for these young “gothic” Peruvians. They enjoyed having their picture taken and posed proudly without any coaching whatsoever


Mira Flores Gothic. Cool!

The remains of Qorikancha, the Inca Sun Temple in Cuzco, Peru. These limestone rocks weigh many tons are were carved by the Inca with only wood wedges and water! Francisco Pizarro subdued the Inca and built a church on top of these foundations. The story of the Inca and their conquest by the Spanish makes for fantastic reading

View of Cuzco, Peru with the Plaza and cathedral visible in the center

Cuzco, Peru - Cathedral and Fountain

Quechua women in front of the Inca Sun Temple. Only one sol (33 cents) for a picture

Our private train took us three and a half hours to the Urubamba River and the ruins of Machu Picchu - recently named as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. These porters greeted us as we boarded the train

The spectacular ruins of Machu Picchu, Peru! They are located on a high ridge above the winding Urubamba River, a major tributary of the Amazon. Majestic Huayan-a-cachu in the background - I climbed this peak in January, 2000 on my first TCS Jet Trip. Access now is quite restricted

Among the ruins of Machu Picchu. This important Inca site was constructed and occupied between 1450 and 1540 AD. It was never found by the Spanish although they heard from the Inca of its existence

You can see the reason why the Spanish did not find Machu Picchu. It is located in a seemingly inaccessible part of the Andes Mountains. The terrain is severely oversteepened and covered in dense jungle vegetation. The Urubamba River and its stupendous canyon can be seen with our train tracks barely visible below for scale

When Hiram Bingham was led to this site in 1911 by local Indians, he was the first outsider to lay eyes on the Inca’s hidden city. During its occupation, 600 people called it home but over 25,000 were utilized in its construction, quarried from nearby granite rock

The ruin that Hirum Bingham found was blanketed by the jungle. A year later he returned as part of a National Geographic expedition and began its excavation from its green veneer

Rain at Machu Picchu did not dampen our spirit. The site is simple too spectacular to be put off by it. It adds a sense of mystery and intrigue. Some of the rooms have been restored with thatch roofs

Parting shot of Machu Picchu. Visitation is bound to increase significantly with its new designation as one of the world’s Seven Wonders. The others on the list include Chitchen Itza, Yucatan; Christ the Redeemer Stature, Rio de Janeiro; the Coliseum, Rome, the Great Wall, China; the Pyramids at Giza; and Petra in Jordan

1 comment:

Jessica said...

Wow! Beautiful, colorful photos.