Joe & I went to Machu Picchu, Peru in October (16 -24, 2007). It's one of the seven/eight Wonders of the World. It was really a neat & different experience. The Incas were incredible architects and business "trade" people for their time. The Spainards came and buried most of their temples. Sacsayhuaman (pronounced Saxy Woman) in Cusco, Peru was discovered in 1988, so I imagine there are more buried artifacts and Inca signs that haven't been discovered yet.
Their delicacies are guinea pig and alpaca steaks. Most homes are tiny with dirt floors, beds up against the walls and 50 guinea pigs running around making noise.
This is a photo from the same house above. Here the woman in preparing her fire for cooking. Note the beds against the wall in the above photo.
We flew from Seattle to Atlanta to Peru, and up to Cusco the following morning. The altitude in Cusco is 11.220 feet, yet there is no snow at that high level. The Andes Mountain ranges are higher still (with snow). When you arrive in Cusco you go to bed and drink tea made from coca leaves for the high altitude. It worked for us, we didn't get a headache. Here we are at Machu Picchu - Keith, Cathy, Pat, & Joe. It was just the 4 of us with our own private tour guide; which was really wonderful. Boris (guide) is 36 and spoke very good english and was like a walking histoian.
Like the menu?
Boris said in his 14 years as a guide he'd never met an American tourist who ate the entire guinea pig - you guessed it; it was Joe!
One day we visted this salt mine and treacherously walked on the left hand side all the way down to the valley. Boris had explained that there was a path to walk on; he neglected to say that the path was actually about 6 inches wide and if you fell on either side you'd be in the salty water! I should have known better as he'd say a hike would last one hour and we always had to double the time frame. He was a great guide though.
The Incas built many archicultural terraces. In this way they could "climatize" their crops. The crops could be planted higher each year. In Peru there are over 3,000 varieties of potatoes.
Feeding alpacas; and to think I ate an alpaca steak!
The children and people are amazing. The kids run freely and I'm certain none of their homes are locked. We bought 4 grocery bags of bananas and oranges for $6.50 and handed out to the children as we were driving through fields on a Saturday. The children were tending to the family sheep, llamas, and alpacas.
Relaxing in the La Sauce Ollantaytambo hotel and playing Quiddler..
We spent the last day in Lima, the capital of Peru. Lima has a population of 9 million, while the entire country has a population of 27 million. There are 3 lanes for the cars, but there were about 7 cars moving forward across the 3 lanes, with vendors walking through traffic trying to sell you anything from bottled water to large hand carved boats - reminded me of Mexico, only much crazier.
The end.. Google Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley of Cusco, Sacsayhuaman, Pisac, Chinchero, and Ollantaytambo to see more amazing photos.