Monday, September 26, 2011
I forgot to mention, when talking about our visit to the community on the reed island on Lake Titicaca, that these people, who are so cut off from the rest of the world, are fully aware of international sporting “celebrities”. When one of our party was asked where he came from and replied “England”, the instant response from the Indian was “England – Wayne Rooney!”.
Saturday we visited the ancient ruins at Tihuanaco, high in the Andes and not far from Lake Titicaca. Then Sunday we flew from La Paz – which has the highest airport in the world, with a runway which has to be 4 miles long instead of the usual 2. This is because there is 40 percent less oxygen in the air than at sea level. We flew from there to Cuzco, the ancient capitals of the Incas.
The Spanish conquerors destroyed the wonderful Inca civilisation, being interested only in gold and conversion to Christianity. They did their best to also obliterate the wonderful buildings which abound. This morning we went to Sacsayuaman, just outside the city. Despite the Spanish depradations, the ruins there are still a marvel. The walls are built of huge stones, some over 100 tons in weight. And the Incas, who had not discovered steel, managed to cut these huge rocks so perfectly, and fit them together so finely, that a piece of paper can not be inserted between the joints – which do not even use mortar.
For details of where to find my book "Vic's Big Walk from SW France to NW England" double click on this.