Peru. Home to the Inca’s one of the worlds largest empire in Central & South America, in Pre-Columbian America. The Incas capital, Cusco, happened to contain the highest point in Peru, Machu Picchu, to be closer to the Gods, and remains of the civilization still are here. I guess the Spaniards weren’t completely able to destroy EVERYTHING they conquered. The Inca’s had a strong military, and hard-core religion. Sacrifices were made, with their prisoners that they captured during war. They had complex farming systems, and supplied surplus’ of food in stone warehouses, so if there was ever a famine, they would be able to survive. Also, the Inca’s had a complex communication system in which they tied certain strings called quipu, to send messages around the empire. Their language was called Quechua. In Machu Picchu, they didn’t have roofs, since earthquakes were often, considering the Nazca Plate and South American plate kept converging into one another, earthquakes happened to be the result of this plate movement. Now, because Machu Picchu is really high in elevation, the sun is stronger, because it is closer, and the air is thin, making it harder to breathe. It was fascinating to see how advanced the Inca’s were.
When we visited Cusco, the city was filled with cobblestones, donkeys, and food. We visited it’s plaza, and had to climb some stairs, but took us a while considering the lack of oxygen. The city was filled with poor, wearing traditional clothing. The city had a few tourists, and you could tell because they had hiking backpacks, and gracefully climbed the steps, unlike us, in which, after every step we needed a breather. We woke up early the next day, and went to the train station, which would lead us to Machu Picchu.
I was sitting, and just admiring Mother Nature. I saw farmers cursing at their livestock, kids pushing one another to get a scrappy soccer ball, and rivers flowing freely. We got to the top, and there with all its glory, was Machu Picchu. When we arrived, there was fog, but once we climbed to the top, just like it was out of a movie, the fog slowly lifted and the sun shined on one of seven modern wonders of the world. Machu Picchu’s use, is actually still unknown to us, it’s hard to tell what it could’ve been.
The high altitude meant it was really cold in the winter, and really hot in the summer. It was the beginning of April, so it should’ve been nice, but once that sun came out, it burned. The sun is dangerous, when you’re so up high, and you can get sunburned…very quickly. The Inca’s were tan, I guess genetically they had skin that could last in the sun all day. Anyhow, we walked amongst trails, and took pictures in front of the iconic mountain, with the remains of stone lying peacefully amongst it. We wandered through the terraces that had different crops, that would keep the Peruvian families alive, and we took selfies with llamas, that loved to take pictures with tourists. It was truly amazing, being “on top of the world”, well at least to the Inca’s.
No matter how many pictures we took, it can never truly substitute actually being present in that moment. When time stops, and its only you and this peaceful place. No matter all those time you click the shutter button, its not even close to feeling the breeze, and watching the fog slowly lift, to reveal it’s hidden treasure. None of the descriptions from the Conquistadors, which blindly decided to ruin something so beautiful, could match to actually being on top of the mountain, looking down at the creations of Mother Nature.