What is it that we are so fascinated about old stuff. Antique shops thrive to support our fix to fill our houses with old stuff. Stuff we don’t even use. But just to look at and spend time dusting. Old vintage cars that turn our heads after enthusiasts have spent meticulous hours restoring every original detail. We collect stamps, old books we never read again, childhood dolls and toys we never touch again.
You name it, if it’s old there’ll be someone collecting enough of it to make a museum of it. And what we can’t collect, we’ll go out of our way to see it. Like the million people each year who visit Machu Picchu in Peru. We’ll travel from across the globe. By plane, bus, train and finally by foot, each getting us that one step closer to our long held dream to step back into a page of our past. In our quest to embrace the old, we are then form one small part of a huge tourist factory. A mega dollar machine where we are shuffled and directed from one part of the human tourist machine to the next.
It’s a small price we pay though for the experience. Maybe it’s our inherent desire to satisfy our endless curiosity about ourselves. But when it comes to Machu Picchu, you gotta feel sorry for the poor ol’ Inkas. They decide to build this city up in the mountains. It takes about two and half thousand men over sixty to seventy years to build the place. And it’s no mean feat. Massive stones of twenty tons intricately carved and positioned into place. But where you feel for them, after that mind boggling effort building the place, they abandon it after living there for only thirty five years. Those Spanish again.
They’d taken over the rest of the continent. The Inkas weren’t going to let the Spanish have this prize little spot. To destroy their temples as they commonly did in favour of complying with the conquerors religious demands. So they took off. To the likes of the Amazon. Trouble is they never came back. And the Spanish thankfully never found it. Not until close to four hundred years later in 1911 when an American historian stumbled across it. The rest is now history… so to speak.
If I had a bucket list, Machu Picchu would have been on it. And it certainly didn’t disappoint. Just the stunning backdrop alone with its impressive mountains, snow capped peaks in the background and a gushing river below. All this topped up with a spread of whispy clouds to finish off this magical landscape setting.
While the roofs may have succumbed to the odd storm over the centuries, the building structures mainly remain. There’s no question the Inkas left us a gift. A gift for us to not only admire their stunning location, but to feed our curiosity. To have us ponder and debate what our predecessors lives were like. And as we post our selfies online for all to see, maybe we’ve gained at least one thing from all this old stuff. The comfort of making us feel, that maybe our lives in the now are really so much better.
Note: In the slide show above, the photos before the train are taken from nearby Sacred Valley.
This week’s live video broadcasts posted at facebook.com/myseniorgapyear page features what some describe as the lost city ….
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