Machu Picchu

| 22 Comments
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Machu Picchu, Peru, 2005.

And I brought Prof. Steve Steve’s cousin, Dr. Steffi Steffi, with me.

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We had separate rooms – hers was my suitcase, in fact, but she never complained. Dr. Steffi Steffi works in obscurity and has never met the famous people that Prof. Steve Steve has met, but she invites her illustrious cousin to share an apple strudel at Erhard’s European Bakery next time he is in Boulder. Dr. Steffi Steffi also likes marzipan but does not mind whether it is colored or not.

22 Comments

This is the one place in the world I want to visit more than any other. My plan is to go there in less than 6 years from now. I’m actively saving money for the trip. It also motivated me to quit smoking three years ago, so I wouldn’t need an O2 tank to visit! Spanish classes are also on my agenda.

How did you enjoy your trip, Matt?

Hundreds (if not thousands) of pictures of Machu Picchu on Google Earth. Enable the “Panoramio Photos” layer and then under Search, “Fly To” Machu Picchu.

Alas, this is as close as I will probably ever get to there.

I was in Cuzco for New Years 2000-01. What a great experience. Its worth the trip Mike, and there’s a lot more to see around that area than just MP. If ruins are your thing, there are loads of great ones throughout the sacred valley. Ollaytaytambo [sp?], Pisac, even Cuzco itself.

Health-wise, if you’re in reasonable shape you should have no problems. I live at sea level and do about 30-45 mins of jogging, five days a week on good weeks but no more than that. While I could really feel the difference at first, I only needed a day or so to adjust. Was hiking up hill and down dale on day two.

Of all the places I’ve been in my life, this is one of my absolute favorites. On the day I visited, I was suffering a very severe case of, um, let’s call it the Inca’s Revenge. I still managed to have a wonderful visit. For those physically able, I highly recommend a hike up Huayna Picchu, the peak on the far side of the picture. The inhabitants built an unbelievable trail, including steps hewn right out of the side of the mountain. Not an easy hike at altitude, but the view is worth it.

How did you enjoy your trip, Matt?

It was a splendid trip, a canned package by a commercial tour group. We began in Peru and then flew to the Galápagos. If you go all the way to Machu Picchu, make sure you take a side trip to the Galápagos. The guide in the Galápagos, Jaime Dominguez Rodas, was particularly knowledgeable and also, it turned out, an excellent photographer.

The altitude in Cusco was a problem for 3 or 4 people; I do not recall all their ages, but it was not a young group. I think they had to sleep with an oxygen tank. Yes, we got a case of Atahualpa’s revenge.

Don’t miss the museum of pornography in Lima.

I’m not the fittest person around, but found mate de coca (coca tea) quite energising and it seemed to alleviate altitude issues - I clambered up from the valley to get to the site. It was 20 years ago, but you could get a cup at the cluster of little shops at the bottom - if they are still there. I also agree with a previous comment - don’t miss out on Huayna Picchu

The ancient inhabitants had to be one of the fittest people around what with the steepness and the altitude! Beautiful pics. The wife & I hope to get here soon.

Nice place. Oh and nice bear or gopher or whatever that is. He looks very happy!!

Beautiful image, Matt. Thanks so much for sharing. Glad you were able to “kill” two birds with one stone; Machu Picchu and Los Islas Galapagos.

I confess that my “bucket” tour list has Hattusha and Yazilikaya at the top. It is remarkable how similar the Hittite cyclopean stone construction techniques were to the Inca. Then again, Spanish is a bit easier than Turkish for a native English speaker to acquire.

Shebardigan said:

I confess that my “bucket” tour list has Hattusha and Yazilikaya at the top. It is remarkable how similar the Hittite cyclopean stone construction techniques were to the Inca. Then again, Spanish is a bit easier than Turkish for a native English speaker to acquire.

Well, either a) the aliens visited both sites, or b) there’s only so many ways to pile up big stones.

When you drive to Stonehenge from London you go through some decidingly different country. You’re going through towns and farmland and as you get close to Stonehenge the landscape changes.

It’s difficult to describe other than “weird.” There are mists and chills. You feel them through the car. I can only imagine that the early pioneers pre-Stonehenge felt the same thing and built the observatory where they did.

I remember coming down into Salisbury Plain one evening after driving through a torrential storm and suddenly the rain stopped and as we crossed a hill there was Stonehenge below bathed in sunlight. I stopped the car and took some pictures with my Nikon F. I blew up those pictures and mounted them and people who visit, who have been to Stonehenge, tell me their stories upon viewing those images. Haunting, different and definitely weird.

I’m not a superstitious type but I’ve felt the chills visiting Stonehenge and I’ve been there many times.

No doubt in my mind, that part of England is definitely creepy.

There was a story a while back that Machu Picchu was at risk from part of the site slipping away down the mountainside (as a result of earthquakes?). Does anyone know whether there is any serious evidence to back this up? Or was it just a way to encourage tourism? (“Come and wonder at Machu Picchu - before it disapeers!!”)

For some reason, whenever someone mentions to me, “Machu Picchu,” I have this insane desire to respond, “Gesundheit.”

Alan B said:

There was a story a while back that Machu Picchu was at risk from part of the site slipping away down the mountainside (as a result of earthquakes?). Does anyone know whether there is any serious evidence to back this up? Or was it just a way to encourage tourism? (“Come and wonder at Machu Picchu - before it disapeers!!”)

Click on the main image above to be taken to a geological review by Gary R Ziegler. The relevant quote is:

I suggest that Machu Picchu is not likely to fall apart in the near future and may well outlast the human race.

At the bottom of the page are two nice comparative pictures taken 40 years apart. I do seem to recall that there were erosion problems with the road up the mountain however.

e-dogg said: At the bottom of the page are two nice comparative pictures taken 40 years apart. I do seem to recall that there were erosion problems with the road up the mountain however.

Those pictures are from the main temple. From what I recall from my visit, there was a lot of restoration work being done on the outlying structures built on more sloping ground because they didn’t survive as well as the central structures. Those outlying structures were probably originally built more of wood, small stone, and thatch rather than the multi-ton blocks the Inca are famous for using, so your standard erosion and time is probably the culprit. This is a quibble, I think you’re right in your main point. The site’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

e-dogg said:

Alan B said:

There was a story a while back that Machu Picchu was at risk from part of the site slipping away down the mountainside (as a result of earthquakes?). Does anyone know whether there is any serious evidence to back this up? Or was it just a way to encourage tourism? (“Come and wonder at Machu Picchu - before it disapeers!!”)

Click on the main image above to be taken to a geological review by Gary R Ziegler. The relevant quote is:

I suggest that Machu Picchu is not likely to fall apart in the near future and may well outlast the human race.

At the bottom of the page are two nice comparative pictures taken 40 years apart. I do seem to recall that there were erosion problems with the road up the mountain however.

Thank you, e-dogg. Incidentally, I was not trying to be clever or silly: I simply didn’t think to click on the picture!

Beautiful picture Matt. I’m jealous.

To digress somewhat, has anyone heard about the newly discovered Peruvian horror, Leviathan melvillei?

Stanton said:

To digress somewhat, has anyone heard about the newly discovered Peruvian horror, Leviathan melvillei?

The 17 m sperm whale with 36 cm teeth that’s in Nature News, New Scientist, Wiki, BBC News - even the Daily Mail?

No. Never heard of it!

Alan B said:

Stanton said:

To digress somewhat, has anyone heard about the newly discovered Peruvian horror, Leviathan melvillei?

The 17 m sperm whale with 36 cm teeth that’s in Nature News, New Scientist, Wiki, BBC News - even the Daily Mail?

No. Never heard of it!

Pity.

Don’t miss the museum of pornography in Lima.

My Wife and Harshest Critic has somewhat belatedly pointed out to me that what I unadvisedly called a museum of pornography was in fact a gallery of pre-Columbian erotic pottery in the Larco Museum in Lima. Call it what you will; it was fascinating. Indeed, the whole museum was fascinating.

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This page contains a single entry by Matt Young published on June 28, 2010 12:00 PM.

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