So I’m back from Peru and not surprisingly, the highlight of the trip was a visit to Machu Pichhu (see it on Google Maps). While I had heard it was amazing, I don’t know that I was totally prepared. It sits atop a mountain about 7 hours from Cuzco (a drive along the sides of mountains no less).
But I’m not writing this to talk about the experience (you can check out the pictures for that), but rather about the discovery of Machu Picchu, which I knew nothing about. Turns out it was discovered in 1911 by a guy named Hiram Bingham (who later went on to be a senator and then a censured senator). Apparently he was originally looking for something else and just kind of stumbled on this thing after hearing about it from some locals (he also may or may not be the inspiration for Indiana Jones). The original book he wrote chronicilng his discovery is available as a free download on Project Gutenberg and his follow up, Lost City of the Incas, is $10 over at Amazon.
Anyway, all of this is a long-winded way of saying I’m home and I thought this was pretty awesome. I especially like the recentness of the history here. So often these things are ancient discoveries, but it’s exciting to think that just about 100 years ago some explorer stumbled upon this absolutely amazing site.