Saturday, November 11, 2017

Bill Weir visits Peru: Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, and Amazon

Tonight on CNN Bill Weir presented Peru on his Wonder List program.

I had scheduled a vacation in Peru in the summer of 1974 which I cancelled when I went to work for NBC.  I spent a weekend in Mexico City.

The main event in the broadcast was the presentation of Machu Picchu, which can be reached by train and bus from Cuzco (which itself it at 11000 feet). There used to be another trainride from Cuzco across a 15000 foot pass in the Andes.  
There are several other sites similar to Machu Picchu. The Incas built an empire without a written language, and fit stones together without mortar.  Much of this was built before 300 AD.  

Weir visited Lake Titicaca, the highest in the world, and showed a micro-civilization of woven raft islands in the Lake, some of which offer motel or Airbnb accommodations. Other parts of the marsh people are poor, and there are legal issues of real property rights for floating islands (they pay no tax now). One is reminded of the Marsh Arabs in southern Iraq.

Bourdain did not visit the Gate of the Sun, which Van Daniken had claimed was built by aliens. There is also the mystery of the Nacza lines.
Bourdain then visited the areas of the Amazon pillaged by gold mining, leaving toxic lakes after strip-mining, along with a lot of mercury pollution. 

Wikiepedia attribution link for photo of Uros floating island in Titicaca

"Diego Delso,, License CC-BY-SA 4.0"

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