For three days we traversed the treacherous slopes of the Andes, on a trail that over the course of its existence has claim a plethora of lives. Our only companions with the fortitude to make the climb with us were several very disobedient donkeys, who probably can be attributed with the theft of most of our food. The native guide with us pranced over the trail with such grace and finesse that it was almost inhuman. When the trail was finally conquered, my family and I stood gazing down at the mysterious site of Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu is the ruins of an old Incan site and was declared a world heritage site in 1983 and also declared one of the new Seven Wonders of the World in 2007. The site itself sits high atop one of the many peaks of the Andes Mountains and proves to be an excruciatingly difficult site to get to. I have traveled all over the world and few sites have interested me as much as Machu Picchu.
Being an odd individual who very much enjoys learning history, sites like Machu Picchu enthrall me greatly. Even though most of the sites history is clouded in shadow, there is one point left me astounded and in awe of the old civilization and that was how it was constructed. It’s nearly impossible to explain how truly treacherous the slopes surrounding the site are and the fact that this enormous construction took place there is nearly unfathomable. But more impressive was the horrid manner in which they got their materials which came from a quarry down in the valley below. The stones used were at least twice the size of any man and weighed several tons and they would carry these stones all the way from the valley below with only vary basic tools. The commitment it must have taken to perfectly cut these stones and then carry them all the way up the mountain is impressive enough, but then the beautiful craftsmanship exhibited by the Inca impressed me immensely. In my opinion the town is unmatched with any other piece of construction I have seen across the world just due to the shear difficulty attributed in its construction.
Now more importantly, there were also the glorious lamas who dwelled in the site. The mischievous mammals reminded me of my ancestors of old; many of who lived in these vary mountains and herded these majestic beasts. As I peered into the eyes of the youngest lama I felt honored to know that this one little lama’s ancestors use to be the slaves of my forefathers forced to do their bidding many moons ago. It was also perhaps the only site in the world I have ever been to in the world where it looks like you stumbled upon an advanced society of lamas who built a city in the mountains.