Welcome to around the world with your lovable and witty host, me, Dave. This is the place where I tell you all about the places around the world I hope to one day visit.
Our stop this week takes us high into the mountains of Peru. Can you guess where it is?
It is of course Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu is an Inca site built around 1450 C.E at the height of the Inca Empire at 2,430 metres, or 7,970 ft, above sea level and it is believed to have been built as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438–1472). Nice idea but surely the estate is a bit out of the way being so high up? Who wants altitude sickness every time they go to their weekend estate?
The sad thing about Machu Picchu is that it only lasted for little more than 100 years, being abandoned in 1572, as a result of the Spanish Conquest. Talk about wasted effort, you spend all that time building it and it barely gets used. The good news however is that the Spanish never found the site and luckily for us didn’t get to destroy or plunder it like they did many other sites, this despite it only being 50 miles from the Inca capital of Cusco and known to the locals. The Spanish were not very thorough in their searching for places to plunder.
This is one of those places that feels mysterious. An ancient “lost” city hidden away high in the mountains of a far way land, unknown and untouched by the world, a journey taking you through jungles and up a mountain to reach it. It’s like something out of a fantasy adventure novel.
It’s also quite dangerous for tourists to visit even today. Altitude sickness, floods, earthquakes, landslides, decaying structures, and hiking accidents have all occurred, some with deadly results. Is it bad that knowing it can be deadly ups the cool factor of Machu Picchu?
Also the Inca’s is not a subject, or history, that I know too much about that just adds to the exotic factor.
Remember to check back next week to see where we’ll be stopping next time.
Missed a previous stop? Check them out below.