We are gradually descending the Andean Plateau, the vegetation is dramatically changing into a jungle. On July 24, 1911, Hiram Bingam (the archaeologist that might have inspired the character of Indiana Jones) was climbing here after a local told him the presence of incredible ruins.
This city was just a royal estate. Its existence and location was known during the colonialism, but impressively it got forgotten.
The Inca Empire was connected by a network of stone paved roads which a lot of them have been destroyed by the Incas in order to hide their settlements from the Conquistadores. Along the mountain wall there was one of these roads which original path is clearly visible by the vegetation that took place, this road was the secret entrance to Machu Picchu that was closable by wooden bars (at the left) which constitute the so called Inca Bridge.
Don’t get lost; the Temple of the Condor is near.
I always advice to visit Ollantaytambo because I consider it great “appetizer” before Machu Picchu. The historical city centre is so pre hispanic that streets still keep the name in Quechua.
The missionaries worked hard to replace the Inca religion with the Catholic, not without absurd escamotage and compromises.
If you know where to look, you can have a lunch for just 5 soles (around 1.3 euros).
Ayahuasca is a brew made with a (DMT)-containing plant and wines of Banisteriopsis caapi, also known as ayahuasca. It is common in spiritual ceremonies in the Amazon basin and it has been described as the work of the devil by the first missionaries. The active ingredients of the wine prevent the DMT to be destroyed by the human body and so to be so fully assimilated in order to have hallucinogenic effects.
DMT is a substance produced in our body during three times of the life, when we born, when we die and when we dream. Assuming DMT when you are “awake” can lead to a kind of aware dream that provides a lot of sights meaningful for your mental health, since dreams are connected with our unconscious and psyche. Indeed it is said that one night of ayahuasca corresponds to ten years of psychotherapy.
The shaman is checking that everything is at its place. The buckets are meant to receive the vomit of the participants and the handrail, that might look exaggerated, will easily guide them to the toilets and to the exteriors, not easy task when you are under hallucinations.
“In the vastness of mankind, my mother was one of the many bright spots, but she gave me the life. How much beauty in ascertaining that, at the end, she was like the others”.
Somewhere in the Sacred Valley, close to the Urubamba River.
The ancient capital of the Inca Empire. I really liked the city at the first lights of the morning.
So many colors.
It is the 28th of July, Peruvians are celebrating the independence of their nation and some of them are eating together chevice, national Peruvian dish based on raw fish cleaned by lemon juice.
Amantani island is located in the Peruvian side of the lake Titicaca. The local population has developed a culture that differs from the mainland and often they host foreigners into their houses. The main gift for a married couple is, traditionally, a complete bed.
The salty water trapped by the movement of the tectonic plates is now coming out. It flows through an intricate system of channels and settles in one of the countless ponds. As it evaporates, salt crystals with beneficial properties are left behind.
If I have to think how the Alps would like in an arid conditions that make the grass to dry, the Andes in August would come in mind.
Probably in a place like this one the history of Europe has been shaped. The potato was originally a poisonous plant, but it has been domesticated by the Incas in their agricultural laboratories consisting of open terraces at different levels (with different temperatures).
A field of potatoes has a higher gain than one of grain. That allowed a dramatic increase of the European population and so the occurrence of events like the Industrial Revolution.
We are approaching Puno, important gateway for the lake Titicaca. As many other cities, it grows faster than its infrastructures.
The roots of the totora plant can form with the soil a solid block that can float. The Uros used that material to built large rafts covered by reeds of totora as a place to live safer than the mainland.
It doesn’t matter how much you pay, you may always get a flat tyre.
In the 1535 the conquistador Francisco Pizarro founds the city of Lima after having defeated the Inca ruler Atahualpa. The close position to the sea will be strategic for commerce as well as escape route. The fountains stands at the centre and the balconies in wood are an emblematic feature of the colonialist architecture.