The Gem - Machu Picchu (Part 1)
Trip Start Jun 25, 2009
23Trip End Jul 05, 2009
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Machu Picchu is considered one of the seven NEW wonders of the world discoverd by a Yale archeologist, Hiram Bingham, in 1911. I'm going to capture some text in the following paragraph here from the Moon guidebook since I can't do justice on the info about the place:
Source: Moon Peru Guidebook 2007 (for legal reasons :))
"Bingham discovered more than 100 human skeletons in cemeteries around Machu Picchu, and an inexperienced scientist on his team incorrectly concluded that 80 of them belonged to women
Part of Machu Picchu's power is that it is a riddle, a blank slate upon which generations of historians and explorers have scribbled their pet theories. Some claimed Machu Picchu was an exclusive religious complex or a giant coca plantation. Others said it was a boarding school for brainwashing children of leaders conquered by Incas.
The latest theory, which is gaining widespread acceptance is that Machu Picchu was a winter retreat built by the Inca Pachacutec in the mid-15th century. Scholars had long believed this, but concrete proof came in the form of a 16th-century suit filed by the descendants of Pachacutec, which UC Berkeley anthropologist Dr. Join Rowe found while searching through archives in Cusco. In the suit, the family sought the return of the lands, including a retreat called Picchu."
If you skipped the previous 3 paragraphs, Machu Picchu is old, mysterious, and beautiful
Remember my rant about tourism in this area? Let me take some time to enforce it:
- bus ride from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu, US$10/person
- park entrance fee, US$45/person
- box lunch we bought from the Rupa Wasi Hostel, US$10/person
... and so on, and so on. But damn, the place was still worth it.