peru1.jpg (46339 bytes) Small village near the Ollantaytambo train station, on the way to the Inca Trail and Macchu Picchu. 






Macchu Picchu, approximately 2600-2700 meters in altitude.  Although Macchu Picchu was known to a handful of Quechua farmers, the outside world was not aware of its existence until its discovery in 1911 by American historian Hiram Bingham.  At the time of discovery, Macchu Picchu was heavily overgrown with vegetation.

In 1986, another larger ruin, twice the size of Macchu Picchu and about five kilometers north of it, was discovered.  The Peruvian government has plans to open this new site, named Maranpampa, to tourists eventually.

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peru3.JPG (34543 bytes) Coca leaves in the Aguas Calientes market.   This is used primarily for mate de coca.  Allegedly, chewing coca leaves or drinking mate de coca (coca tea) alleviates some of the effects of the high altitude. Chewing coca or drinking coca tea is perfectly legal in Peru, as in this state, it is not considered a harmful drug.  It left my mouth slightly numb, but I am not sure if it alleviated any of the effects of the high altitude.


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