Saturday, January 12, 2008

PERU 2007/2008

Hello y'all from Machu Picchu, the forgotten city built by the Inkas more than 500 years ago.

Greetings from Mom and Dad, Opa und Oma, Petra and Hermann.

Our trip to Peru was a great success. We enjoyed every minute of it, although the altitude of up to 11,500 " (almost 4000 meters) sometimes had us breathing hard!

Here are some pictures:

First I chose to portray different types of the people of this Andean country.

They are mostly "Mochitos", meaning a mix of Spaniards and the indigenous Indian inhabitants called Amerindians.
They are poor, but friendly and not pushy at all.

They mainly live on tourism, although the country is very rich in minerals and agricultural products, e.g. they have 1,500 different types of potatoes, called "papas".

The healer, (Medizinmann)

Children in a shanty town. They grow up without TV and other amenities we are used to. But... they are happy, or at least seemed to be.

Now here are some pictures of our trips to the different Inka settlements and fortresses. Some of them were never found by the Spanish Conquistadores.

First the ancient upper city of Pisac. The ruins of this city are situated in a spectacular location atop a buttress ridge, with gorges on either side.

We are above the clouds and the views are breathtaking.

These fascinating structures were built by the the Incas at the top of the mountains 700 years ago. This settlement is called PISAC.

We enjoyed it in spite of the rain!

Tis the rocky sand road leading from the Urubamba river (sacred valley) to the ancient city of Machu Picchu.

The "lost city" of the Incas. discovered by
Mr. Bingham, the American explorer and adventurer in 1911.

Only the roofs of the houses have disappeared.

Same place

They built terraces all the way to the montain top and grew tomatoes, potatoes and corn (maize).

Goats and sheep are enjoying it up there.

and wild rabbits.

These are remnants of the old Inca capital of Cusco, completely destroyed by Pizarro, unlike Mach Picchu, which the Spaniards didn't find.

Petra is not a remnant!

That's the colonial city of Cusco, viewed from the top of the hill at 12.000 feet.

The Spanish built a 12 meter Jesus statue on top of the rubbles.

They used the Inca stones for building churches.

Here are some more pics from different angles of the "lost city" of Machu Picchu. This was really the most awesome and least destroyed settlement of them all.

Our Peruvian guide Al was very knowledgable, but his English required some getting used to.

Llamas seek refuge in the old houses

Up on top of the mountain the guard house of the Incas.

Looking down into the ravine.

A colonial (Spanish) church, now converted into a hotel.

Papas (potatoes), there are more than 1000 species, the originate from Peru. The Amerindians lived main on potatoes, corn, all kinds of fruits, beans and Llama meat, and fish. The Pacific ocean offered great varieties. They also raised guinea pigs (Meerschweinchen) for food. They still do.

Lima's fish market.

Looking down on the beach of Lima.

A communal kitchen in one of the shanty towns.
We donated a number of bags filled with produce for their next days' meals. They were very happy and thankful. Back home I will tell you about the history and develeopment of these settlements.

Same place. In the background you can see another shanty town.

The main street of the town.

An official scales at the market.

Epihany, Dreikoenig, a big celebration in this catholic country. The Jesus baby is taken from the manger and brought to church.

Once again a view of the fish market.

View down on the Pacific ocean

Water rafting on the Orubamba river (sacred valley)

The "healer"

These are sacred offerings to the Sun god.

Now a few more pictures from the city of Cusco, Peru, near the Central Plaza, taken on our last day in Peru:

End of our photo report about PERU. Hey, I appreciate your comments right here. Hier haette ich gerne euren Kommentar.