Marcahuasi – Mystery of the Mountain

Marcahuasi is the Quechua name given to a plateau 60 km northeast of Lima, one that roughly translates as “the House of the Sovereign”. Exactly who this sovereign is, or what the stories are behind the stone abodes and rock monuments that dot the landscape, most experts have little clue. Some have offered a geologic explanation for the sculpted landscape, while others, such as proto-historian Dr Daniel Ruzo, believe that the rocks, which resemble everything from faces to dinosaurs, are markers left by an ancient civilization, long since annihilated by cataclysms of (literally) Biblical proportions. [Continue reading…]

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Dealing with Soroche aka The Worst Feeling Ever

This past Tuesday I thought I could outwit and outlast the dreaded altitude sickness or soroche, as it is known to the people of the Andes, for a lucky third time in a row when myself along with two new Karikuy volunteers climbed to Marcahuasi at a whopping 13,000ft. However in Tuesday’s struggle of me vs. nature, nature in all her glory got the best of me and won the battle. [Continue reading…]

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The Many Picchu’s of Peru

The quiet streets of Aguas Calientes and the empty hotel rooms in Cuzco are a grim reality to what many people had feared to ask themselves; what would it be like without Machu Picchu? The heavy rains, which continue in Cusco, have destroyed access to the famous citadel. Its closure has meant unemployment to thousands and homelessness to many more left standing in the wake of the recent flooding.

At a time when cultural tourism is most in need to preserve the livelihoods of thousands of Cusqeños, the world has all but turned its back on them and shuddered at the thought of voluntourism without Machu Picchu. Sure tourism will return, in 2 weeks Machu Picchu will again be accessible by the Machu Picchu by Car circuit. After all Machu Picchu is timeless, built to last forever by the Incas, a testament to our creativity, of things we can do when we work together; of our endurance. It is this endurance passed on to them by their ancestors that will inevitably sustain the people of Cuzco until the tourists return. Because without Machu Picchu, the old Mountain, there is no reward at the end of a hard days hike. There is no grand finale to an adventure that crossed the many lands of Peru. No spirits to warm you on a spiritual quest of a lifetime and most importantly no place to get away from it all. How wrong we all are. [Continue Reading…]

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