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Blog posts of '2011' 'July'

Machu Picchu Centenary Celebrations
Hiram Bingham would be pleased! He may not have discovered Machu Picchu — earlier travelers had happened upon the site, the plaza was planted in corn when he first laid eyes on it, and he was led for a first view of Machu Picchu on a hot afternoon on July 24, 1911 by Melchor Arteaga, a local farmer. Machu Picchu may not be "the last capital of the Incas" or any such thing (scholars are agreed it was a summer estate of the great Pachacuti).
Machu Picchu
Kindly Contributed by Hilary Bradt, publisher of Bradt Guides.
It wasn’t what I expected. The evening was misty with a touch of drizzle, I was tired, and it was the 23rd time I’d stood at this spot. But looking down on Machu Picchu from Intipunku, the Sun Gate, at the end of the Inca Trail, I felt such a surge of emotion that tears flooded into my eyes. There are few places where reality always exceeds expectation or memory, and Machu Picchu is one of them.
Lost City of the Incas
A first-rate adventure story by the man who brought Machu Picchu to the attention of the world 100 years ago on July 24,1911, Lost City of the Incas is not just a gripping tale of exploration and archaeology, it also beautifully sets the scene for any visitor to the site. Hugh Thomson (A Sacred Landscape, The Search for Ancient Peru) provides the introduction to this Centenary Edition, which also includes excellent opening maps and Bingham's original photographs (taken with his Kodak 3A Special Camera).
Ollantaytambo
Kindly contributed by John Harrison, author of Cloud Road.
"In the Sacred Valley of the River Urubamba is a small town many visitors rush past to reach the Inca Trail, the only remaining settlement with an Inca town plan, where you see small courtyards leading to tiny houses forged from a few huge stones. In the mists of early morning, and in evenings surprised by sudden chills, the square fills with locals filling hungry bellies from hot food stalls. Above are the rhyolite stones of the temple converted to a fortress where the Spanish suffered their lowly defeat in open battle: my favorite Inca place."