After months of resisting, as I was at Machu Picchu I was inspired to grab my iPhone and make an impromptu video report [with the assistance of my “camera man” – my LA travel buddy], a flyingnorth first. I only did one short video and in one take, so what you are seeing is the result of that, along with some cheap introductory graphics.
Machu Picchu, a UNESCO world heritage site, sits 2430 meters [almost 8000 feet] above sea level, most scientists believe that Machu Picchu was built as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti [1438–1472]. As the last stronghold of the Incas and an extremely important architectural and archaeological site, Machu Picchu is one of the most treasured cultural sites in the Americas. 2011 marks the one hundreth anniversary of the so-called “discovery” of Machu Picchu by the west as a result of American historian Hiram Bingham being led there by locals.
The stonework of the site remains as one of the world’s great examples of the use of a natural raw material to provide outstanding architecture which is totally appropriate to the surroundings. The surrounding valleys have been cultivated continuously for well over 1,000 years, providing one of the world’s greatest examples of a productive man-land relationship. The people living around Machu Picchu continue a way of life which closely resembles that of their Inca ancestors, being based on potatoes, maize and llamas. Machu Picchu also provides a secure habitat for several endangered species, notably the spectacled bear.
If you like this format, please comment, as I may begin doing more video reports as a result. This will give me an excuse to travel even more than I do now!