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Tuesday, May 30, 2023: It’s What We Came Here For

You may have heard of The Seven Wonders of the World. Well, today, there are The New Seven Wonders of the World … and Machu Picchu is one of them.

When the Inca King arrived, he chose this place for his kingly residence because it had water, a quarry, wood, and a magnificent view.

The stone steps that we were hiking up to get to Machu Picchu were very high. They served to slow down the heavy rains.

Machu Picchu was built before Spaniards arrived for Pachacutec. He was the best King of the Incas. It was left alone for 500 years. Destruction was from vegetation.

The Spanish did not find Machu Picchu. They never touched it. The Spanish would observe the hill people starting in 1536 and follow them to find riches, but this place was special so the hill people did not lead them to it.

A shell unique to Quito, Ecuador was found here so there was, at a minimum, trade with them. Maybe they even traveled here to trade or give tribute.

Hiram Bingham, a history professor at Yale University, rediscovered Machu Picchu as he had heard of the Lost City of the Incas. He wore a broad brimmed hat and was the inspiration for the Indiana Jones character.

We are getting closer, and each view is spectacular.
We have arrived.
Here is our group of explorers. Prior to the trip, Arnold and Rob were considering a hike on the Inca Trail but decided against it because of Sharon’s fear of heights and of Brenda’s knees. However, this hot day really got to our menfolk. None of us needed to be on that trail.
Come on in!
Once inside, the door was bolted from the inside. No one could enter and everyone inside was safe. No need for individual security.
The foundation is 30% below ground. All walls and windows are built in the shape of a trapezoid which makes it more resistant to damage from earthquakes.
A room with a view!!
This sacred rock imitates the mountain behind it.
Rob is trying to find his niche.
This curved building is the most important room in the complex. Here is the room where the sun is constantly observed throughout the year.
This rock represents the upper world, and the shadow will be an exact mirror image on June 21st, the Winter Solstice. The shadow represents the underworld. Our world is the rock or line in-between the two worlds.
It was a beautiful sunny day and very few tourists so the pictures were amazing.
All of the buildings would have had thatched roofs like in this photo. This is shown so that one would have an idea of how the buildings would have looked back in the day.
This is how they held the thatch on the roof.
We are glad that they don’t recreate the thatched roofs which would be historically accurate. It would lessen the impact of this view. Also, thatched roofs only last about five years so they would need to be replaced often.
Our local guide, Eduard, was very informative. Also, photography is part of the job … and he knew just the right spots.
This lizard has a spectacular view.
And so do these alpacas that are dining on the terraces.
Funny picture of the day: I have never seen a sink with handles. Altitude sickness is a real thing here.

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