Machu Picchu I Choose You
Even stones of historical significance are just rocks most of the time. Yesterday´s treck involved seeing many of those. The Inca are cool and all, and they managed to carve and move some insanely large stones, but some of the ruins are less than exciting. Nothing I have ever seen compares to Machu Picchu.
The ruins of this site cling to the sides of the Andes in a seemingly perposterous manner. Furthermore, the structures are all but completely intact — only the thatching of the rooves is missing. The agriculturial areas are expecially mystifying when one thinks on how the Incan worked these narrow, stepped ledges. Words cannot do it justice.
I did manage to leave my own personal taint upon the once great civilization, however. It seems that I have acquired more than just altitude sickness. I blame my over active bowels on a ¨pizza¨I ate the other day. I can assure you that my squating over the edge of a 2000m drop to plume a torrent of evil was entirely necessary.
What is not necessary if how earnestly the Peruvians rape you for traveling to and witnessing Machi Picchu. One needs to pay for the train ride there, a bus ride from the train to the site, and a ticket for entry. My only hope is the fees go towards good and not some corrupt embezzelment. At least the train ride provided entertainment. A local dressed in traditional garb — a white sock of sorts with eye and mouth holes, a plateau hat, and a llama-cum-ferret toy, danced (nay pranced) about the car. Oh, that was before the other car attendants performed a fashion show of alpaca goods they wished to pawn off upon us.
It seems that everyone in this country has something they want to sell you in the most forceful manner. The scores of 10 year-olds selling finger puppets is one thing, but when you have 10 year-olds calling you gringo because you won´t make a purchase from their cigarette tray is another. At least some of the children know how to work for they meager earnings. The bus descent from Machu Pichu is accompanied by a child who runs down via a straight route and meets the bus at every switch back. This boy, dressed in traditional garb, waves frantically as if his life depends upon it at every meeting with the bus. It was clear from the start that he was out to garner tips. I say let the exercise be his payment!
We were wondering if he gets to keep any of the money he earns or if his parents claim all of it. I can only assume that in a country were all houses are made of mud and poop (adobe), and only the rich have the money to plaster coat said bricks, that all money goes to the family. It certainly does not go towards feeding domesticated animals. Packs of dogs run rampant in the streets feeding upon garbage (and possibly cats because we have not seen any).