Thursday, February 26, 2009

Exploring Peru and the Land of the Incas

My son Jeff has gone on an adventure trip to Peru. He left on Friday to fly to Lima and from there on to the town of Cuzco in the interior of Peru. Sunday was spent exploring the Inca ruins in that area. Monday he started his three day hike through the Sacred Valley and the Condor Pass in the mountains of Peru. It is called the Lares Trek, because it starts near the village of Lares.

Wiki says:
The Lares Trek is a two or three day high altitude hike in Peru starting near the village of Lares. Lares is approximately 40 miles north of Cusco and 35 miles east of Machu Picchu. To get to the start of the trek requires a bus or van trip of approximately 5 hours. The Lares trek route transverses typical beautiful, pristine Peruvian Andean mountain areas.

In the last 3 days my thoughts frequently went in his direction, wondering how he was making out. Today he was able to break his “radio silence” and we all were glad to receive an email. I quote from his email: The trek was by far the most physically challenging feat I've ever accomplished. I took a group photo at the highest point during our trek - 4,500 Meters above sea level, it's a great shot. At that altitude every step you take makes you out of breath.

He spent today exploring Machu Picchu, which is referred to as "The Lost City of the Incas",
From Wiki:

Machu Picchu is one of the most familiar symbols of the Inca Empire. Machu Picchu was constructed around 1460, at the height of the Inca Empire. It was abandoned less than 100 years later.

It is likely that most of its inhabitants were wiped out by smallpox before the Spanish conquistadores arrived in the area, and there is no record of their having known of the remote city. Hiram Bingham, the credited discoverer of the site, along with several others, originally hypothesized that the citadel was the traditional birthplace of the Inca of the "Virgins of the Suns". Although the citadel is located only about 80 kilometers (50 miles) from Cusco, the Inca capital, it was never found by the Spanish and consequently not plundered and destroyed, as was the case with many other Inca sites.

Machu Picchu was designated as a World Heritage Site in 1983 when it was described as "an absolute masterpiece of architecture and a unique testimony to the Inca civilization".

On July 7, 2007, Machu Picchu was voted as one of New Open World Corporation's New Seven Wonders of the World. Machu PicchuSince one of my “Bucket List” items is to see the 7 wonders of the world, I am very curious and anxious to hear the stories of the trip my son will tell when he comes back. I am sure it is a wonderful sight to see.

Jeff next goes to the Amazon Rain forest to explore until Monday and then on to Lima for a day and then home again on Wednesday. We will all be glad when he is home and we can see what I am sure will be some breathtakingly beautiful scenery pictures.

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