The Great Peruvian Excursion of 2007!
(La excursion peruana gran de 2007)

Inspired by Richard M. Stallman, who visited the country in 2006, I decided to visit it the following year in 2007.  Yep, I made it to Machu Picchu, and yes, it is impressive.  It's at an elevation, I understand, of over 2,000 meters (6,600 feet).  One thing to note is that we don't actually know the name of the famous "lost city" there.  Rather, the name "Machu Picchu" refers to one of the mountains on one side of it.  The translation is, "Young Mountain."  The mountain on the other side of it is called "Old Mountain."  But since we don't know the city's name, everyone just calls it Machu Picchu today.

However, that's not the only Inca site worth visiting in Peru.  There's another place, called Sacsayhuaman, in which the Inca construction was even more impressive than at Machu Picchu.  At Sacsayhuaman, the Incas used a somewhat different, upgraded method of construction for yet better earthquake resistance.  The Incas understood all about how to build earthquake-proof buildings, because, due to the tectonic plate action that created the Andes, you do have earthquakes.  Twenty-ton boulders crashing down on you kinda shoots down the rest of your day, and the Incas did build multi-story buildings.  Remember also that they did it with no mortar whatsoever.  So, they had to be constructed, from the get-go, with earthquake-proofness in mind as part of the basic design.  They succeeded.

Here are a few examples of their amazing construction.  Remember, no mortar...and earthquake-proof.  Furthermore, with some of the construction, you cannot slip a credit card in between the boulders.  You can barely slip in a piece of paper part-way!  Now, that is engineering.

Each image is about 115KB.  For scale purpuses, I'm six feet, four inches tall, without shoes.  With my hiking shoes, I was probably more like 6'5".

Doin' the Machu Picchu Boogie
Getting "sacsay" at Sacsayhuaman
I'm...too Sacsay for my wall
The Fountain of Youth!

If you have the chance, you should visit the country.  I've been to other places in Peru as well, like Huancayo, Ayacucho, and of course Lima.  The Andes are indeed something else.

Oh, and that "Fountain of Youth" in Sacsayhuaman has been running for the last 500 years.  Continuously.  No, I don't know how.  And yes, the water is crystal clear, germ-free, and fresh.

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