Inca Land: A Proud People Celebrate A Proud Heritage

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I arrived in Cuzco, Peru, after 22 hours on a bus. I never got off the bus once. Twenty-two hours that were rather grueling. At least the last four hours. I’ll try not to ever do that again, even if the bus had some comforts such as reclining seats, attendants and food service – and two bathrooms. Spending almost a whole day on a bus is no fun, especially for a guy like me who gets cabin fever. And yet, the getting to Cuzco was worth every hour. I am in my element here in Cuzco. This is a place packed with centuries of history, of cultures, of human drama.

Ever since I can remember I have wanted to visit Cuzco and Machu Picchu. It’s been right up there with the Egyptian pyramids. I intend to stay in Cuzco and explore for several weeks. My stay here will culminate on June 24 with the Inti Raymi – festival of the sun – an Inca religious ceremony in honor of the god Inti in observance of the winter solstice. Yes, it’s winter here in Cuzco and the rest of the Southern Hemisphere, but the sun shines bright and the mornings and afternoons are still warm. Bundle up at night.

So I arrived at the right time in Cuzco because it’s the 100th anniversary observance of the “discovery” of Machu Picchu. The celebrations have already begun. The photos you see are part of that grand celebration. Much has been happening in Cuzco and the place is teeming with even more tourists than usual. It’s high season, too, and of course all this means higher prices for everything, including lodging. I am still in the planning stages of my ascent to Machu Picchu. By whatever means I get there, it will be just a real high being there.

Chatted with these young people in the square in Cuzco for nearly an hour. They wanted to know about me and I wanted to know about them. A great bunch they are!

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