Tag archives for Inca
Hey, everyone! It’s McKenna again, with one last blog about a memorable moment in Peru. I’d like to take you back to “The City in the Clouds” for a quick visit to a special spot nestled in a narrow notch on a mountaintop overlooking Machu Picchu.
After exploring and shooting pictures for hours in the marvelous ruins of “The Lost City of the Incas,” and after eating a quick buffet lunch at the Machu Picchu restaurant, many members of the expedition, including myself, decided to take on the challenge of a 45 minute hike about a mile up the Inca Trail, a long, twisting, ancient stone path made and used by the Incas. Our destination? The Incan Sun Gate.
The length of the trail we traversed curves up the side of the mountain and overlooks the grand city of Machu Picchu. It was an amazing experience. We had to keep reminding ourselves that we were walking on the same stones the Incas used to trek. But, overall, the trek wasn’t all that easy.
The stones of the trail are jagged and serrated, and one misstep at certain places could have caused us to tumble down the steep precipice of the soaring mountain. YIKES! At 8,000 plus feet in the sky, it was sometimes tough to get the oxygen we needed to climb without breathing pretty hard at times. And, being ever so high in the sky, we had to be on guard to avoid getting sunburned. We were told that, at that height, even if it doesn’t feel like you are getting sun, if you aren’t careful to wear sunscreen or cover up, you are likely to get sunburned–even on the tops of your hands!
Hola, everyone! My name is Sharon Andrews, and I am one of the teachers who went on the National Geographic Hands-On Explorer trip to Peru. Wow! What a fantastic trip it was! All of our days and evenings were filled with new sights, sounds, flavors, and adventures! The Peruvians were very happy that we were visiting and were anxious to show us their country. We had so many exciting adventures on our trip that I could write volumes, but I will summarize the trip according to Peru’s three geographic areas: the dry coast, the highlands, and rain forest.
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So far this expedition has been unbelievable to say the absolute least. I’ve longed to travel to and explore Peru since I was five years old and National Geographic has given me the opportunity to fulfill that dream. This country is drop-dead gorgeous and amazing. It has been so breathtaking to explore Lima, Sacred Valley, Cusco, and now Machu Picchu.
There are no words to describe the feeling of walking on the same stones the Incas trekked nearly 600 years in the past. Now I see why the “Lost City of the Incas” was recently dubbed one of the Seven Wonders of the World. I still can’t believe we just saw this breathtaking “city in the clouds.”
This morning, after packing our bags, shooting group photos, and checking out of the Inkaterra Hotel, we all grabbed our seats on a bus, slipped on our motion sickness bands or took motion sickness medicine and anxiously peered out the windows as we zig-zagged on 14 switchbacks up the mountain.
Once we finally reached the peak of the mountain, we gathered at the gate of the path that leads to Machu Picchu and all sprayed on the thick layer of sunscreen and foul smelling bug spray.
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Allillanchu! That is Quechua for hello. Quechua is the native language of the Incas before the Spaniards arrived in 1532.
We had a nice breakfast at the Libertador Hotel. I had watermelon with sugar and prickly pear cactus root. It tasted like the white part of watermelon, but it was red and had tons of seeds. We have been trying many different foods that you don’t eat in America. For example, they served alpaca, llama, and guinea pig. (I didn’t try the guinea pig because they are pets in America.) Another thing that was quite interesting was that Lijah let me try a little calamari (or octopus). It tasted like fish and was purple with tentacles.
After breakfast we boarded the bus and we drove through the Andes making a few stops along the way. We took pictures and stopped at the marketplace in a small village. The market was filled with people in colorful costumes who were there for a weaving contest. I bought a woven camera strap and an alpaca breeder mask. The mask is part of a costume that people wear in the dance to get the season off to a good start. Most of the masks are white with a cross and a stripe on the forehead. But there are many different types of these masks. They have cool colors, horns, beards, and faces. If you look at one from far away they look like a ski mask or socks with many colors.
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Hola everybody, this is Rachel Day blogging from Peru! Today we visited the Inca Ruins of the capital city of Cusco. It was at a very high altitude and we had to hike up because our buses were on strike that day, so most of the day included walking. Even though it was hard, it was kind of nice for me to be out of the buses!
The city ruins were very interesting and I learned a lot of facts, but I am not going to turn this blog into a history lesson! After the tour of the city and many new things learned, the group headed toward the rock slides. These are actual rocks shaped like a series of slides that you can sit on and go down. The first time, before you knew how to brace yourself, it was a little painful. Once you learned what was coming up you could prepare your position and then it was fun. While we were sliding we met some local kids and watched a magic show. It was very neat and unexpected.
Hi, this is Pete. Today, the fifth day of our journey, we took a hike to the ancient Incan ruins of Sacsayhuaman. The hike was much harder than most because of the lack of oxygen in the air. But the hike was worth it when we reached the top and saw the breathtaking structure. It was a myriad of boulders upon boulders. The largest ones were at the bottom to create a stronger support. The largest of the boulders were around 18 tall. It was a wonder that men could transport such mammoth rocks.
Even more impressive was the way in which these boulders were carved.
Each boulder was carved expertly to fit perfectly with adjacent
boulders. Every wall looked like a jigsaw puzzle, without any spaces
between pieces. It is amazing that such perfection could be created
over 600 years ago. We later learned that the area of Sacsayhuaman was
called Puma City and was made to look like a Puma. Every structure was
made to look like a specific part of the Puma.
The Incan civilization was so powerful and advanced that their history is almost addicting. I cannot wait to go to the Citadel of Machu Picchu to see more wonders of the Incan Empire.
Hi, it’s Elliot. Today we participated in the “Search of the Treasure” game, which took place high up in the Andes at an elevation of about 13,000 feet. We were divided into four groups for the game.
We were greeted by people wearing traditional and ceremonial clothes. Some people were wearing clothes representing the devil and a man was dressed as an Inca King. He chanted in Quechua, the traditional language, and then we started the first challenge, hair braiding. One girl in each group sat down, and with the help of a few locals, we braided as many braids as we could in five minutes. It was really hard to do and I could only do two braids out of our group’s 29. The whole time we were chanting to try and get more points.
Hi! I’m Cady. Cusco is amazing! Yesterday afternoon, we saw some of the marvelous creations of the Inca. They built terraces on the mountain side to experiment on how plants grew in different humidity. The terraces were circular and they had steps going up the side. The Inca brought stones from the river to build the terraces, which have lots of layers. A man that the Inca called a priest had a house on the terraces where he and others could take care of the plants. When you stood on the edge and looked down to take a picture, you could see the amazing structures that the Inca built long ago. If you looked hard enough, you could almost see the Incas working. A research group had just finished restoring it and looking for clues to how the Inca lived and farmed. They used aqueducts to irrigate the terraces. Although they were also used for farming, the terraces were also a temple, a place to worship the gods. Just looking at the terraces, you could tell how magnificent the Inca were.