We spent some awesome (although expensive) days in Cusco, Aguas Calientes and Machupicchu. Cusco is an extremely beautiful city. It's so nice to wander along its cobbled stone streets and colonial buildings. The city from above is even more impressive, like a never-ending carpet of red-tiled roofs. Aguas Calientes is the base camp to visit Machupicchu, but a lovely little town surrounded by green mountains and divided by a beautiful river. Machupicchu is amazing!!! Despite its being crowded with people, the place is still magical, so magical!!! We went very early in the morning and managed to avoid the crowd momentarily. The best you can do in Machupicchu is climb up to Waynapicchu from where the views are simply breathtaking. Believe it or not, we made many friends at the summit of this mountain and also bumped into people from our same neighbourhood in Donosti (our hometown in the Basque Country), two of which we actually knew!
A brief history of Machupicchu:
At the early nineties, the North American professor, Hiram Bingham, who was researching about the military campaign of the libertor Simon Bolivar in South America, takes interest in the Inca culture and its different aspects. He started his journey in Cusco through the Sacred Valley of the Incas and following the direction of the Urubamba River, he arrived to a place called Mandorpampa in the Hacienda Cutija. There, he met a farmer called Melchor Arteaga, who received a tip of one coin and gave him the information about the existence of some ruins at the top of the Old Mountain (Machupicchu). When he arrived, he found there two local farmer families: Aniceto Alvarez and Toribio Richartes, who lived there and grew crops in some of the terraces of the lower portion of the eastern part of the city. But precisely, it was a child, the son of one of the families, who let him into the archaeological remains. In 1911, he first arrived to some of the most important sites of Machupicchu and, since then, this date is known as the date of the scientific discovery of Machupicchu. In 1912, he organised a new expedition with specialist in osteology, natural science and excavations to explore and to work in the clearing and with the archaeological research. They were so good at it that they really did clear it all and left Machupicchu completely empty taking all its mommies and archaeological treasures along with them back to the States (surprise, surprise!). They couldn't find any utensils because the city of Machupicchu had been abandoned by the Incas and still today the reason for the exodus is unknown to humanity. The mistery of Machupicchu... Before Bingham, farmer Agustin Lizarraga established in the zone during his exploration in search of agricultural lands in the year of 1900.
Loving Peru to pieces!!!
Idoia & Mikel.