Hello friends and families!
The group has safely, soundly, and enjoyably made it from Urubamba homestays to Machu Picchu to Cusco. Saludos from the ombligo del mundo. Cusco is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the Americas and said to be the center of the universe in traditional local stories. In fact, later today the students will explore the city on a scavenger hunt featuring one of the Inka qhapaq ñan or “great roads” to the corners of the universe for each group to study. They will only see a small part of each path of course – they lead far away to the modern day Colombia, modern day Argentina and Chile, the Amazon jungle, and the desert coast, respectively.
Actually, we ourselves feel like we have just traveled quite a distance, a lot of it in the Inka style, on foot over steep mountain paths. To go from Urubamba to Machu Picchu involved about 5 hours in car, three hours on foot over relatively flat terrain, and another hour almost straight up to arrive at the park. Some of us elected for a little extra elevation, climbing the many stairs to the top of Machu Picchu mountain, a peak that overlooks the famous Inka constructions now known by the same name, for about another two hours. As you may see in the photos, we were rewarded with lovely views of the majestic and rugged Vilcabamba range.
In no particular order, the photos are of:
More pictures, information, and reflections to come!