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South American journey (8) – Peru – Cusco and Machu Picchu – Aventura Weblog

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There may be a lot to inform about Machu Picchu. Though the ruins are certainly breathtaking, fascinating, the expertise itself is strongly touristic. To take the bus to the positioning, it’s important to stand in an enormous queue, which however strikes shortly. As soon as on the web site, it’s important to wrestle to discover a window with out different vacationers behind you, the world being extraordinarily crowded even within the early hours of the morning.

They’re two completely different points, sure the ruins are extraordinary and there’s nothing inferior to the images, however the vacationer expertise is one in all a dozen.

As I wrote earlier than, some individuals have a projection very completely different from the historic reality about South American civilizations, together with the Inca. Some sure, they’re shrouded in sturdy thriller, being very outdated, as we later came upon in Caral. However Inca is neither outdated nor misplaced nor so mysterious. To not be confused with the Maya, the Olmecs or the Caral tradition. The historical past of the Inca is kind of well-known, the Inca being the identify of those that conquered this space, subjugating the tribes within the space to be conquered by the Spanish conquistadors who took benefit of the variations and dissensions between the populations of the brand new empire.

All I can say about Machu Picchu is that it’s spectacular. Let the images communicate for themselves.

 

Somewhat throwback:

In the summertime of 2019 I went on an intensive tour of western South America. Passing by way of 5 territories of the continent took me by way of fascinating locations, distinctive on the planet. I stood by the Hand of the Desert, trying up on the southern evening sky of the Atacama desert, and drove the biggest dunes on the planet and the paths of desert valleys with such a unique look that folks gave them names just like the Valley of the Moon or the Valley of the Planet Mars. I took evening photos close to the Three Sisters within the Valley of the Moon. I gazed westward into the Pacific Ocean, out within the open, alongside the stone statues of the vanished civilization of Easter Island—the japanese tip of Polynesia. I had lunch in the midst of the Bolivian salt desert and at evening I photographed my reflection within the water mirror of the flattest and whitest place on Earth. We stayed in a villa made from salt and cactus wooden. We went to the cactus island of the salt desert. I listened to the tales of the astronomers from ALMA – an observatory positioned at over 5000m altitude, but in addition to these of the native inhabitants of the floating islands of Lake Titicaca. We drove quick on grime desert roads to see the flamingos at sundown. I went to Macchu Picchu. I went to Cusco. We noticed the oldest pyramids in South America, the over 5000 12 months outdated ones from Caral. I went to the witches market in La Paz and noticed the singing fountains in Lima.

It was a monumental journey in only one month, elements of which may very well be monumental journeys in themselves. The pretext was the couple of minutes of photo voltaic eclipse, the third photo voltaic eclipse for me. The remainder of the journeys and the fascinating issues skilled concentrated inside a month make me surprise what I do with my time at dwelling when week after week, month after month goes by with out discovering something notable. And I miss leaving once more.

The tour was organized by the SARM Romania astroclub, of which I’m a member. The official identify was SARM Romania Expedition – South American Eclipse 2019, extending from June 25 to July 22, 2019.

Given the depth and extension of the journey, now we have divided the story into 9 elements, offered in chronological order as follows:

  • Buenos Aires;
  • Chile – Introduction to Chile and The Photo voltaic Eclipse 2019;
  • Easter Island;
  • Chile – Atacama Desert, Valley of Demise (or Mars) and different superb locations;
  • Chile – Moon Valley and the Flamingo Birds;
  • Bolivia – Salar de Uyuni or the Salt Desert;
  • Bolivia – La Paz, Tiwanaku and different superb locations;
  • Peru – Machu Picchu and Cuzco;
  • Peru – Lima, Nazca and the Caral Pyramids.

Peru

July 15 – Monday

One week left of our South America journey.

The fatigue is already felt, being an especially dense journey to completely different locations, at nice distances between them, occasions, astrophotography nights.

However we nonetheless have Peru to see. At this level it was as if I had already returned dwelling and left Peru for an additional time. However I additionally did Peru and went straight again to work after the journey. I don’t know if it’s good that approach, I wouldn’t essentially suggest it, however that’s what we did, a really dense journey, low-cost relative to what we’ve seen and full of fantastic landscapes, locations and happenings.

Early Monday morning I left Puno for Cusco, on the Street of the Solar.

Then we handed by way of the la Raya cross within the Andes, positioned at 4335 m altitude, in the direction of the Inca metropolis of Raqchi.

On that day we additionally stopped at a a Llama and Alpaca reservation / heaven. Alpaca’s had been there to pet and play with. Though they had been sort of fed up with vacationers I would say.

Raqchi

In response to latest analysis, this thousand-hectare complicated was constructed in numerous durations. Along with the large wall that protects the park, there are some constructions equivalent to aqueducts, underground tombs and pre-Inca enclosures, One of many sectors was constructed in the course of the reign of the Inca Wiracocha, in keeping with the Inca chronicler Garcilaso de la Vega. Later, one other half was constructed between 1439 and 1471 in the course of the reign of Pachacutec, and eventually, the third stage was constructed by Inca Tupac Yupanqui between 1471 and 1493, in keeping with Cieza de León.

 

Archaeologists have divided it into 5 major sectors which embody amongst others the Wiracocha temple, the primary Inca temple and a man-made water storage reservoir alongside the temple.

The principle Inca temple is a novel building, being a big house with an oblong base, 92 meters excessive by 3 meters, made from deeply carved stones and adobe finishes. The temple had speaking doorways with columns supporting a gabled roof that rested on 11 cylindrical columns on all sides. Solely one of many 22 columns remains to be preserved now. Solely the foundations of the aspect partitions can now be seen after excavation work by the Spanish mission within the late Sixties.

Many centuries after Cieza’s go to to Raqchi, on the similar time when excavations had been made in Cusco, they discovered a stone head and the illustration of a physique made from the identical materials. Manuel Ballesteros and different specialists say these are the stays of the Wiracocha statue, which was taken to Cusco for some time, destroyed and buried as a part of the idol extirpation coverage. The top is now preserved within the American museum in Madrid, and the physique is within the Inca museum in Cusco.

One other vital sector because of its architectural high quality is the world of homes or dwellings. This space has a complete of twenty-two homes which can be highlighted by their fractured partitions with plentiful trapezoidal niches and their distribution. 12 of those homes are lined up in pairs alongside nearly 250 meters. This group of edifices is distributed alongside a collection of terraces of virtually sq. form.

Different round buildings, known as Colca are positioned subsequent to the enclosures and are separated by small fields of rectangular frames. They’re spectacular because of their quantity between 120 and 200.

After this go to, we arrived within the night at Ollantaytambo (close to Cusco) and stayed at Lodge Sol Natura.

________________

July 16 – Tuesday

Machu Picchu

Though Ollantaytambo can be value visiting and is likely one of the entry factors to the Inca path, because of lack of time we selected to go to solely the well-known Machu Picchu.

Subsequently, Tuesday was devoted to the Machu Picchu spotlight. I scheduled the doorway within the morning, very first thing within the morning, to have the ability to go to this vacationer attraction at leisure. I took into consideration the truth that in keeping with the brand new laws you’re not allowed to remain for greater than 4 hours, however I opted for a ticket prolonged to six hours with a go to to Huayna Picchu, a mountain peak with stairs and ruins alongside the way in which and on the high.

I went to Machu Picchu in a sort of small automobile. I left my baggage on the lodge and took the 05.05 practice that arrives in Aguas Calientes at 06.35 (the solar rises at 06.13 and units at 17.38), from right here we took the bus to the doorway of Machu Picchu (about 30 min.) . Thus, from the morning I used to be already in Machu Picchu the place I stayed for about 6 hours.

Within the morning we go away the bags on the lodge on the baggage room. At 05.05 we take the practice from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes, we arrive at 06.40, till 07.30. now we have free time by way of Aguas Calientes, at 07.30 we take the bus that takes half-hour to the doorway to the archaeological web site of Machu Picchu. We can have two guides with us. We’ve scheduled the doorway to Machu Picchu for 08.00 for two hours in Machu Picchu and a couple of hours-2 1 hour for Huayna Picchu, those that don’t need to climb can keep two extra hours within the archaeological web site.

There may be a lot to inform about Machu Picchu. Though the ruins are certainly breathtaking, fascinating, the expertise itself is strongly touristic. To take the bus to the positioning, it’s important to stand in an enormous queue, which however strikes shortly. As soon as on the web site, it’s important to wrestle to discover a window with out different vacationers behind you, the world being extraordinarily crowded even within the early hours of the morning.

They’re two completely different points, sure the ruins are extraordinary and there’s nothing inferior to the images, however the vacationer expertise is one in all a dozen.

I feel it helps loads should you select to do the Inca path, those that want the genuine, the character, the silence, as a way to face the armies of vacationers from everywhere in the world, solely within the web site itself.

Machupicchu Nationwide Archaeological Park is a cultural and pure space inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Record. With greater than 37,302 hectares, it is likely one of the most biodiverse areas in Peru and is dwelling to greater than 60 archaeological monuments related by a posh community of Inca roads. An important monument of the park is town of Ilaqta or Inca Machu Picchu, which was deliberate and constructed round 1450 AD. in the course of the reign of Pachakuti. The work required the participation of specialists in structure, engineering and astronomy, in addition to a big a part of the workforce. Greater than 50% of the hassle required in its building was used within the preparation of the land, the muse and the drainage system.

The development had to reply to the necessity of the Inca state to have a non secular, political and administrative heart in a sacred house, thought of the hyperlink between the Andes and the Amazon. Ilaqta de Machupicchu was deserted within the second half of the sixteenth century; nevertheless, it was by no means misplaced because it was sometimes visited and inhabited. There are colonial paperwork that check with Inca Ilaqta Machu Picchu as “The Settlement of the Incas” or “The Previous Inca Metropolis known as Guaynapicchu”. In 1874, engineer Herman Göhring issued a cartographic doc displaying “Machu Picchu” and “Huayna Picchu” for the primary time. In 1911, Professor Hiram Bingham visited llaqta and was impressed by its magnificence and majesty. The next 12 months he returned with a multidisciplinary workforce of execs who carried out excavations and analysis within the space.

For the reason that Nineteen Thirties, the Peruvian state has promoted the analysis, conservation and valorization of the Historic sanctuary and Machu Picchu valley, which represents a masterpiece of artwork, structure and engineering in good concord with nature and is likely one of the most vital legacies of the Inca civilization provided to humanity.

As I wrote earlier than, some individuals have a projection very completely different from the historic reality about South American civilizations, together with the Inca. Some sure, they’re shrouded in sturdy thriller, being very outdated, as we later came upon in Caral. However Inca is neither outdated nor misplaced nor so mysterious. To not be confused with the Maya, the Olmecs or the Caral tradition. The historical past of the Inca is kind of well-known, the Inca being the identify of those that conquered this space, subjugating the tribes within the space to be conquered by the Spanish conquistadors who took benefit of the variations and dissensions between the populations of the brand new empire.

All I can say about Machu Picchu is that it’s spectacular. Let the images communicate for themselves.

I may also say that I additionally climbed Huayna Picchu, a not tough climb for individuals who do trekking or mountain climbing. From above you’ve a Home windows-like panoramic view of all the web site, if you will discover a free place to look quietly.

 

Some arrive on the web site after a multi-day path by way of the jungle, ticking off different websites alongside the way in which. You probably have the time, it looks as if a way more impressed selection.

At 16.22 I had the return practice to Ollantaytambo from the place I then took the bus to Cusco.

 

________________

July 17 – Wednesday

The flight from Cusco (Cuzco) to Lima was at 17:15, so within the first a part of the day we had time to go to town.

CUSCO

Within the morning we went to go to Saqsaywaman and Q’enqo (in Inca perception this was a spot of interference of the three worlds, the higher world, our world and the world beneath).

I additionally had free time to stroll across the metropolis, earlier than the switch to the airport.

Sacsayhuaman (Saksaywaman or Saqsaywaman citadel/temple complicated, which means “Royal Eagle”) is positioned on the northern fringe of the previous Inca capital, Cusco. Constructed in the course of the reign of Pachacuti (1438-1471 CE) and his successors, its huge and well-built partitions stay at the moment as an affidavit not solely to Inca energy, but in addition to the talents of Inca architects of their strategy to harmoniously mixing their monumental buildings into the pure panorama.

The entire metropolis of Cusco is stuffed with ruins or constructions with Inca foundations. We stayed in a lodge that had low Inca partitions, these with clean joints with out joints between them.

The citadel within the north of Cusco, nevertheless, was the biggest construction constructed by the Incas. It was constructed on a excessive rocky promontory dealing with the marshes north of the Inca capital of Cuzco. Ceramic analysis signifies that this web site was beforehand occupied by Inca residents.

Began in the course of the reign of the good builder of the Inca empire, Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui, or maybe his son, Thupa Inca Yupanqui, within the mid-Fifteenth century CE, the undertaking was entrusted to 4 architects: Huallpa Rimachi, Maricanchi, Acahuana, and Calla Cunchui. The primary buildings had been made solely with earth and clay. Later these parts had been changed with stone, very finely lower polygonal blocks, with a top of over 4 meters and a weight of over 100 tons. To finish such an enormous undertaking, 20,000 staff labored on this undertaking, 6,000 of them within the stone quarry. Big blocks had been lower and formed utilizing solely tougher stones and bronze instruments.

The markings on the stone blocks point out that they had been struck relatively than lower. The blocks had been moved by cables, logs, poles, levers and earth ramps (marks might be seen on some blocks) and a few stones nonetheless have carved areas that had been used to assist the employees grip the stone. That these stones had been lower in quarries after which reworked to their remaining vacation spot is clearly indicated by unfinished examples left on the quarries and on numerous routes to the websites. The chopping and positive laying of the blocks on web site was so exact that mortar was pointless. Lastly, a completed floor was offered utilizing grinding stones and sand. The Incas additionally ensured that their blocks had been interconnected and the partitions had been sloped to maximise their resistance to destruction within the occasion of an earthquake. Over time it has confirmed its effectiveness, as 500 years of earthquakes have finished little or no injury to the remaining Inca buildings of their full state, and Sacsayhuaman is not any exception.

If the speculation that every one of Cuzco was thought to depict a puma kind when considered from above is right, then Sacsayhuaman was its head. The citadel has three distinct terraces that mutually recede one over the opposite. The partitions, every reaching a top of 18 meters, are organized in a zigzag sample, and stretch for a distance of over 540 meters, so that every wall has as much as 40 segments, which permits the defenders to entice the attackers in a crossfire; a outcome additionally given by the overall curvature of all the facade of the fortress. As well as, Inca architects typically sought to mix their buildings harmoniously into the encircling pure panorama, and the define of Sacsayhuaman was equally constructed to imitate the contours of the mountain vary that runs behind it. That is particularly evident when the solar creates deep triangular shadows between the zigzag terraces, simply because it does within the mountain space with its peaks and valleys.

In one other respect, there is just one small door on every terrace that permits entry to the inside buildings and towers on the hill. Data offered by Spanish eyewitnesses describes a four- or five-story round tower centrally positioned within the citadel, and its foundations (together with these for 2 others) can nonetheless be seen at the moment. Behind the complicated, in an space often known as the Suchuna (slide), there have been a number of terraces, annexes and a water provide system, together with cisterns and aqueducts. Lastly, there’s a stepped embankment space lower into the aspect of the Rodadero hill, which is believed to have been a non secular shrine, in all probability devoted to the earth goddess Pachamama, or a viewing platform for the Inca ruler to observe ceremonies, or a spot for astronomical observations. When accomplished, the fortress is claimed to have had a capability of at the least 10,00 warriors, however was hardly ever wanted because the Incas didn’t undergo invasions from enemy states. Most likely for that reason, Sacsayhuaman was designed greater than a fortress.

The complicated included temples, notably one to the solar god Inti, and was used as a location for Inca ceremonies. Sacsayhuaman was additionally a serious storehouse for the Incas the place weapons, armor, foodstuffs, worthwhile textiles, ceramics, metallic instruments and treasured metals had been saved. Sacsayhuaman functioned as a fortress in the course of the Spanish conquest of Peru in 1532 CE.

The Spanish, led by Francisco Pizarro, conquered Cuzco shortly after killing the Inca ruler Atahualpa in 1533 CE, however then confronted a siege organized and supported by an Inca military. Pizarro despatched his brother Juan to assault the Sacsayhuaman utilizing cavalry after which scale the partitions with ladders. The offensive was profitable, though Juan died in the course of the assault. After the collapse of the empire and the European invasion, a lot of the stones of Sacsayhuaman had been reused within the colonial buildings of Cuzco. The ruins had been lined with earth by the Spanish to stop their use by insurgent Inca forces and the positioning was not rediscovered till excavations in 1934 CE. At present, the ruins of the citadel are the placement for the annual Inca renewal competition, Inti Raymi (competition devoted to the Solar), which takes place on the winter solstice.

In Cusco we additionally visited Qorikancha, a posh of ruins positioned close to the lodge the place we stayed.

The ruins are the bottom of the colonial church and the monastery of Santo Domingo. As soon as this was the richest temple within the Inca Empire, all we see at the moment are simply the stone partitions. The temple was constructed within the mid-Fifteenth century in the course of the reign of the tenth Inca king, Túpac Yupanqui. After the conquest, the temple got here to the Dominican monks, in whose possession it remained. What we see at the moment is a weird mixture of Inca and colonial structure, lined with a glass and metallic roof. In Inca instances, Qorikancha was actually lined in gold. The partitions of the temple had been lined with 700 gold sheets, every weighing about 2 kg. There have been life-size gold and silver replicas of corn that had been “ceremonially” planted in agricultural rituals.

In one of many cathedrals there are the stays of a well-known conquistador, Francisco Pizarro.

There are additionally mentioned to have been strong gold altars, slats, in addition to a duplicate of the solar. However inside months of the arrival of the primary conquistadors, this unbelievable wealth was looted and melted down. Different spiritual rituals happened within the temple Qorikancha was additionally an observatory from the place the excessive priest monitored the celestial actions. A superbly mounted curved wall 6 meters excessive might be seen from each inside and outdoors the world. This wall withstood all of the violent earthquakes that toppled most of Cusco’s colonial buildings.

As soon as contained in the archaeological web site, you enter a courtyard. The octagonal entrance within the center was initially lined with 55 kg of strong gold. The Inca rooms are positioned on each side of the courtyard. The biggest, to the fitting, is claimed to be the temple of the moon and stars, and was lined with sheets of strong silver. The partitions are completely related upwards and with their niches and doorways they’re glorious examples of Inca trapezoidal structure. The becoming of the person blocks is so exact that in some locations you may’t inform the place one block ends and the following begins. In entrance of those rooms, on the opposite aspect of the courtyard, are smaller temples devoted to thunder and the rainbow. Three holes had been carved by way of the partitions of this part dealing with the road, which students imagine had been leaks, both for chicha given as ofranda (fermented corn beer), blood or, extra probably, rainwater. One other function of this a part of the complicated is the ground in entrance of the rooms: it dates again to Inca instances and is fastidiously paved with pebble mosaics.

Colonial work outdoors the courtyard depict the lifetime of Saint Dominic and comprise a number of depictions of canines holding torches of their jaws. These are the watchdogs of God (dominicanus in Latin), therefore the identify of this spiritual order.

The Cathedral

The cathedral is now a part of the Viracocha Inca palace, the cathedral was constructed utilizing blocks stolen from the close by Inca web site of Saksaywaman. Its building started in 1559 and lasted nearly a century. It adjoins the Iglesia del Triunfo from 1536 to the fitting and the Iglesia de Jesús María 1733 to the left.

The cathedral is likely one of the metropolis’s best repositories of colonial artwork, significantly the works of the Cuzco College, famous for its ornamental mixture of Seventeenth-century European devotional portray types with the colour palette and iconography of indigenous Andean artists. A basic instance is the frequent depiction of the Virgin Mary carrying a mountain-shaped skirt with a river flowing round her, figuring out her with Pachamama (Mom Earth).

One in all his most well-known work is the Final Supper painted by the Quechua artist Marcos Zapata. Discovered within the northeast nook of the cathedral, it encompasses a ceremonial Andean meals dinner.

 

We additionally discover a treasured crucifix, known as El Senor de Los Temblores (Lord of the Earthquakes), can nonetheless be seen within the area of interest to the fitting of the door resulting in El Triunfo. Yearly, on Holy Monday, the Lord is paraded, and followers throw him flowers – drops of blood representing the injuries of the crucifixion. Legend has it that below his skirt is a white lily.

Plaza de la Armas

In Inca instances, the sq., known as Huacaypata or Aucaypata, was the center of the capital. At present it’s the central sq. of the fashionable metropolis. Two flags normally fly right here – the Purple and White Peruvian flag and the rainbow coloured flag of Tahuantinsuyo. That is typically in comparison with a homosexual delight banner however in reality it represents the 4 elements of the Inca Empire.

There was an incredible artist in Cusco.

He makes superb music, with conventional devices I don’t know the identify of.

He’s additionally a really superb showman. Or possibly an emperor. Of his personal thoughts.

There was additionally a financial institution vacation, a big vacation that we benefited by probability:

There have been additionally performers on the road, wearing conventional garments, accompanied by child alpacas. One can take an image with them for a modest amount of cash.

At 15.06 I had a flight to Lima. I arrived at 16.38. A coach took us to Huacachina, an oasis within the desert surrounded by gigantic dunes. We stayed on the El Huacachinero lodge.

Huacachina is a village in southeastern Peru, constructed like an oasis surrounded by sand dunes. The variety of inhabitants may be very small, it doesn’t exceed 100 residents. What’s spectacular about Huacachina is that while you journey by way of the desert you don’t look forward to finding water, however particularly such a peaceable locality that could be a draw for guests and adventurers.

Within the Forties this place was standard among the many rich individuals of Lima, who frequented it for the advantages it provided. Within the Nineteen Fifties, the recognition of the place declined, and the oasis in the midst of the desert flourished solely within the Nineties. Huacachina is very valued by the nation’s inhabitants, so a picture of the place is current on one in all Peru’s banknotes, the 50 nuevos soles.

On the similar time, environmentalists are apprehensive in regards to the long-term survival of this place from the reason for diminishing water sources. In response to the Peruvian Instances, landowners in Huacachina have put in a number of wells within the space, drastically lowering the water stage of the oasis, which tremendously impacts its means to replenish itself naturally, thus requiring water dietary supplements from outdoors.

The Nationwide Institute of Tradition of Peru has declared the oasis of Huacachina a cultural heritage, which signifies that they need to hold this a lot admired and mysterious space intact.

Huacachina is positioned fairly near town of Ica, ten minutes by automobile to be actual.

Vacationers select this place because of the truth that sandboarding might be practiced very simply on the sand dunes, but in addition for the journeys that may be organized on the excessive sand dunes.



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