The Great Peruvian Excursion of 2007!
(La excursion peruana gran de 2007)
Inspired by Richard M. Stallman,
who visited the country in 2006, I decided to visit it the following
year in 2007. Yep, I made it to Machu Picchu, and yes, it is
impressive. It's at an elevation, I understand, of over 2,000
meters (6,600 feet). One thing to note is that we don't actually
know the name of the famous "lost city" there. Rather, the name
"Machu Picchu" refers to one of the mountains on one side of it.
The translation is, "Young Mountain." The mountain on the other
side of it is called "Old Mountain." But since we don't know the
city's name, everyone just calls it Machu Picchu today.
However, that's not the only Inca site worth visiting in Peru.
There's another place, called Sacsayhuaman, in which the Inca
construction was even more impressive than at Machu Picchu. At
Sacsayhuaman, the Incas used a somewhat different, upgraded method of
construction for yet better earthquake resistance. The Incas
understood all about how to build earthquake-proof buildings, because,
due to the tectonic plate action that created the Andes, you do have
earthquakes. Twenty-ton boulders crashing down on you kinda
shoots down the rest of your day, and the Incas did build multi-story
buildings. Remember also that they did it with no mortar whatsoever.
So, they had to be constructed, from the get-go, with
earthquake-proofness in mind as part of the basic design. They
Here are a few examples of their amazing construction. Remember,
no mortar...and earthquake-proof. Furthermore, with some of the
construction, you cannot slip a credit card in between the
boulders. You can barely slip in a piece of paper part-way!
Now, that is engineering.
Each image is about 115KB. For scale purpuses, I'm six feet, four
inches tall, without shoes. With my hiking shoes, I was probably
more like 6'5".
Doin' the Machu Picchu Boogie
Getting "sacsay" at Sacsayhuaman
I'm...too Sacsay for my wall
The Fountain of Youth!
If you have the chance, you should visit the country. I've been
to other places in Peru as well, like Huancayo, Ayacucho, and of course
Lima. The Andes are indeed something else.
Oh, and that "Fountain of Youth" in Sacsayhuaman has been running for
the last 500 years. Continuously. No, I don't know
how. And yes, the water is crystal clear, germ-free, and fresh.
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