Cauli Le Chat

Cauli Le Chat
Cauli Le Chat, MPL Roving Reporter

Saturday, February 27, 2016

My Retirement Travels, Part Deux

We continue my retirement travelogues with my next destination (last April/May, 2015): namely, Machu Picchu, in the Cusco region, Urubamba Province, Machupicchu District, in Peru.

Machu Picchu, Peru
(Click Photos to Bigify)

My Library's composer, whom I call the Music Man, and his wife, whom I call Ms. Moonlight (after a string quartet composition the Music Man wrote for her), travelled to Peru to visit family.  I tagged along, because every adventure is more fun with moi added to the mix.

After a relatively short flight from Lima, the capital of Peru, to the Cusco region, we took a long, harrowing journey by bus up the mountains to Machu Picchu.  

 Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu

Urubamba River is 2,000 feet below Machu Picchu
(Photos courtesy of the Music Man)

The reason you don't see moi standing in the photo (above) is that it's a two thousand foot drop straight down to the Urubamba River.  I wasn't going anywhere near that edge, I can tell you.

The Inca built Machu Picchu over 500 years ago, when their civilization had no wheel, no iron, and no steel.  The Inca must have been master architects and engineers to have constructed such an elaborate town so high in virtually inaccessible mountains.    Modern estimates were that fewer than a thousand people resided there.  In 1911 Yale professor Hiram Bingham was led to the site by a Peruvian guide and became the first Western scholar to see the "lost city of the Inca."

It is a truly amazing spectacle.  If you ever have an opportunity to visit, you should.  My descriptive powers cannot begin to do justice to the wonders experienced there.  This National Geographic website does an excellent job, as does this UNESCO website, but you might also wish to watch these DVDs available in our Evergreen Indiana catalog.

I would like to mention a family legend associated with Machu Picchu. According to myth, one of my Incan ancestors, Apaec Ozcollo ("fanged creator god" and "wildcat or ocelot"), lived among the humans at Machu Picchu in the 15th century.  She was worshipped for her power to create contentedness merely by her presence (or the presence of her feline children) on humans' laps.  This was, of course, before the Spanish invaded in the 16th century.

I certainly felt Apaec Ozcollo's influence as I walked around Machu Picchu. Or else it was the high altitude that was making moi light-headed.  Oddly enough, the altitude at Machu Picchu is 7,972 feet above sea level, while the altitude at Beartooth Pass (where I was shortly beforehand) is 10,947 feet above sea level.  I don't recall feeling any effects of oxygen deprivation there; so I shouldn't have been suffering from it in Peru, either.  So it must have been the spirit of Apaec Ozcollo calling out to moi across the centuries.

Next time, join moi for another exciting travel adventure.  I know where, because I've already been, but you haven't.  Well, maybe you have, actually. You won't know for sure until my next blog posting.

Your (Retired) Roving Reporter On The Go,

Cauli Le Chat

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