Travel TopOfBlogs Past and future wanderings of a travel bug . . .: I hope it's still there when I get the chance to visit . . .

Saturday, January 30, 2010

I hope it's still there when I get the chance to visit . . .

One of the places I have been hoping to get to (but likely won't for a couple of more years) is the site of Machu Picchu in Peru. Sadly, this destination has been in the news recently due to heavy rainfall and flooding which has been the cause of mudslides in the area. The disaster had stranded many tourists in the area after affecting both the famous Inca Trail and the railway used by visitors that choose not to brave the 4 day hike. As well lives were lost in the mudslides as well. Just recently those stranded were evacuated by helicopter and are beginning to make their way home.

So far reports are promising that the ancient site has survived Mother Nature's worst and still stands intact. The Peruvian government has said that the railway will be restored as well in due time. So my dream to visit this ancient wonder is not dead yet.

For those who aren't familiar with the ruins, the site of Machu Picchu was built by the Inca in around 1450 AD which was at the height of the Inca Empire. The name means "old peak" By the time the Spanish arrived in the area just over 100 years later the site was already abandoned. Machu Picchu is often referred to as the "Lost City of the Incas" and was rediscovered by the outside world in 1911 when Hiram Bingham, an American historian, found the site with the help of the local people. Since then, the "old peak" has become a major tourist destination. If you want to learn more about this UNESCO World Heritage Site click here.

So in the meantime, I am trying to shape up for the 4 day hike I will have ahead of me when I do make it to Peru--if the Inca Trail is open then I intend to walk in the footsteps of the ancients to make my way to the city in the clouds.

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