Saturday, July 30, 2011

Memories of Machu Picchu

This summer marks our tenth anniversary -- not of when we were married, but of our second honeymoon which we celebrated in Peru. Summer (winter in the southern hemisphere) is a quieter time with fewer tourists and an opportunity to take your time and truly enjoy all that the country has to offer.  While more of our memories will have to wait for another posting, something happened in the news which brought us back to Machu Picchu.

The Lost City of the Inca was discovered, or shall we describe it better as rediscovered, by the American explorer Hiram Bingham who climbed the steep jungle slopes exactly one century ago this month. Bingham -- credited as the inspiration behind the creation of the character for Indiana Jones -- wrote about seeing a large and well-preserved city 8,000 feet in the clouds. That city, tucked between the peaks of Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu and rising above the cayman in the Urumbamba River is just as awe-inspiring to this day.

His finding of the lost city paved the way for its restoration and preservation, but not until some treasures had already been looted, like the one just recently discovered. This treasure, a stone statue, possibly of the Inca emperor Pachacuti, once stood in Machu Picchu where it is believed he was buried.

J and L finds it inspiring that all is not lost to history and that our memories of Machu Picchu will continue to grow.

The site at Machu Picchu where archaelogists believe a state of an Inca emperor once stood.
Paolo Greer

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