Peru - Lima, Sacred Valley of the Incas, Machu Picchu, Cuzco and back to Lima
by, 06-17-2014 at 10:05 PM (264 Views)
Dear Pen Pals,
We have been mostly homebodies here in Florida. So to ward off encroaching ennui, we spent a fortnight in Peru. It turns out that Peruvian food is excellent, if you eat it in Sarasota. In Peru itself not so much. It turns out also that May does not offer the best weather, no matter what the guidebooks say. It was usually cold and often cloudy or worse. It turns out also that Lima has all the charms of any other modern big city cowering behind barbwire and strewn with no-go zones, which is to say not many. But all of that is more than balanced out by the wonders of Inca territory: Cuzco, the Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu. Along with all of our guides we came away a little resentful of what the Conquistadores did, but we really were impressed with what they left behind. As this album shows, there is still plenty to see, perhaps because many sacred sites, like Machu Picchu, were never found by the Spanish. Unlike in America, tourists here are allowed to wander everywhere over the ancient ruins, and as a result pretty soon you start to feel the Incas are still there -- maybe preparing a nice sacrifice just around the corner. Itís an eerie feeling to sense their presence all the while secure in the knowledge that we arenít sacrifice material. The ruins are everywhere because there were a lot of Incas (400,000 of them once lived in Cuzco alone.) They must have been highly organized despite being without paper or modern numbers and letters. And when you glance at these pictures keep reminding yourself that the Incas quarried, shaped, transported and installed all of their stone walls, ways and ramparts without benefit of building metal or the wheel. Of course, it is also true that Michelangelo and the boys were grinding out some pretty good stuff at roughly the same time Atahualpa was strangled and burned. Be that as it may, we hope to report next month from our German Eagleís Nest, assuming we didnít catch the Incaís real revengeósyphilis. Donít sneer! Their pottery could work miracles.