||Sherry with Brenda Andrade. In the image above, Brenda sits at an overlook point viewing the ancient city of Machu Picchu. Sherry had long wanted to see it, so she was the initiator of this trip to the high Andes. They had brought Brenda Andrade along as companion and interpreter. They had walked up the small winding road from the village to the ruins. The ruins are at about 8000 ft altitude. |
This is the international group which banded together for the trip to Machu Picchu. The grouping was partly for companionship and partly for safety, since nearly all of them had had some kind of encounter with the thieves.
||Brenda Andrade, Brenda Nave, Sherry Dawson with Machu Picchu as a backdrop.|
Machu Picchu, called the secret city of the Incas, was discovered in 1911 by Dr. Hiram Bingham. It is calculated that there were 216 homes there and more than 100 series of stairs totalling 3000 steps. Historians and archaeologists estimate its time of construction at about 1420 and it was said to be inhabited up until about 1600. Machupicchu means "old mountain" in the Quechan language. The stories indicate that the city was kept secret by the Incas partly because this was a time when the Incan empire was being ravaged by the Spanish conquerers who were hungry for gold. Prominent theories about the city describe is as having a primarily religious function in worship of the sun god and other nature deities. The fact that 150 of the 173 skeletons exhumed in the city were female strengthens the image of the city as a kind of home for women who were called "Virgins of the Sun" and dedicated to religious service. Although the Incas were master architects and stone masons, they had no written language, and that complicates the piecing together of their history. Details from "A Walking Tour of Machupicchu" by Pedro Sueldo Nava.