Peruvian Ruins


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South America » Peru » Puno
September 8th 2007
Published: October 27th 2007
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Where In The World Are We?



We arrived in Peru only 1 week after the level 8.7 earthquake and saw firsthand the might of mother-nature, or Pachamama as they call her here. It wasn’t a pretty sight. Driving through the most effected areas on the recently-built highway, which was now cracked in half through the middle, was like driving into Berlin at the end of the WW2. Ancient towns like Ica and Pisco - an ex tourism mecca - were now reduced to modern day ruins. Sad to see how this cruel world took away what little they had. The crumbling remaining walls of the adobe mud-brick (or straw of the really poor) houses were crawling with helpless, homeless people trying so hard to find their lost property or missing family members - so sad that at times we just couldn’t look no more.

Slowly we made our way to Machu Picchu - apparently the 7th Wonder of the World. At 4.30am we awoke to catch the first bus and miss the tourists (or so we thought!). At 5.30am, after standing in the queue and getting every last cent shaken out of us like the rest of the wealthy tourists, we got on bus 12 out of 20, and we all headed towards this must-visit attraction of South America like lambs to the slaughter. The Incas must be turning in their graves if they know what has become of their empire that was so tragically taken from them by the Spanish conquistadores. By midday those magnificent ancient ruins were crawling with so many tourists trying so hard to get a clear shot of the ruins that at times you had to look hard just to find the ruins amongst them.


Odometer at start: 33 900 km
Odometer now: 51 733 km


Additional photos below
Photos: 64, Displayed: 23


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ANCIENT RUINS OF PISACANCIENT RUINS OF PISAC
ANCIENT RUINS OF PISAC

One of the oldest town in Peru called Pisac known for ancient civilization was badly hit by earthquake of 8,9 degree. We arrived just 2 weeks afterwards. It wasn´t a great view. We have never seen the war, but this probably looked like Berlin after being bombed. People who survived were still struggling with cleaning up the damaged houses and sometimes even looking for the bodies. This place lies close to Nasca plate where these earthquake happen every 10 years! But people still live there. Hopefully their next houses will be antiseismatic.
PISAC EARTHQUAKEPISAC EARTHQUAKE
PISAC EARTHQUAKE

Army helping with cleaning the town
HOME FOOD IN ICAHOME FOOD IN ICA
HOME FOOD IN ICA

The owner of the residence where we slept in Ica was very friendly and cooked for us some typical Peruvian food. Later we found out we were lucky to choose this place as some of the owners of the hotels in the centre were refusing to knock down and rebuild their hotels which were now dangerously unstable. Interesting to hear her and her husband talk of the experience. They are so used to earthquakes and tremours here that he only decided to get up and get somewhere safe after more than 30 seconds when he realised that this one was no joke. She and her friend just remained sitting on the couch through it all - "If I´m going to die, I may as well die comfortably", she said.
OFF YOUR HEAD!OFF YOUR HEAD!
OFF YOUR HEAD!

We managed to convince the curator of the museum in Ica to let us in for a short while even though they were still cleaning up the mess from the earthquake. The mummies had been flung onto their sides and these skulls had been thrown around too.
EARTHQUAKE SURVIVOREARTHQUAKE SURVIVOR
EARTHQUAKE SURVIVOR

One of the mummies in the museum in Ica which was also badly affected by earthquake. This person definitely "survived" more than one earthquake on Nasca plate.
WELL PRESERVED LOCAL PEOPLEWELL PRESERVED LOCAL PEOPLE
WELL PRESERVED LOCAL PEOPLE

I wonder what face cream they use?!
LIBA IN MACHULANDLIBA IN MACHULAND
LIBA IN MACHULAND

Now I have seen Machuland. TICK...
MACHULANDMACHULAND
MACHULAND

Typical view from the ruins. If you want to see Machu Picchu without tourists, simply buy a postcard. Do not even bother coming here. Actually, buying a tourist-free postcard is also a mission...
MACHULAND QUEUESMACHULAND QUEUES
MACHULAND QUEUES

Waiting is the only thing we were doing while we were visiting Machu Picchu. Everytime in a looong queue! Waiting for the train, for the bus going up, for the tickets, for the opening of the gate, for the correct spot to be cleared so we can take pictures, to visit Wayna Picchu, for the clouds to go away, for the toilets, for the bus back,...


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