Peru_08 - Tipon, a farewall, and a bus ride to the Amazon.
Jul 22, 2008Public
Photo: There's one more Inca site that Edgar wants us to see: Tipon
Photo: It turns out there's a book on this place--
Tipon: Water Engineering Masterpiece of the Inca Empire
By Kenneth R. Wright. 
168 pages.
American Society of Civil Engineers, 2006
Photo: "Tipon, a little-known jewel of the Inca Empire, remains an amazing civil engineering achievement showcasing Inca mastery of irrigation and hydraulic technology....The author takes readers on a tour of Tipon's canals, plazas, aqueducts, and fountains—infrastructure that transformed a remote mountainside into an engineering marvel."
Photo: "They designed buildings, waterworks, and massive structures to be visually and functionally in harmony with the natural environment."
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Photo: At Tipon we saw Peru's national flower, the kantuta.
Photo: Moving right along, we briefly visit Pikillaqta, a pre-Inca site. It's large, but not nearly as impressive.
Photo: This is Jorge, our van driver, who has accompanied us on nearly all our adventures.
Photo: It's our last day with him, and Ann gives him a tip from all of us.
Photo: The next morning our group splits up. Marcia and I will head to the Peruvian Amazon, while the others will trek to the ruined city of Choquequirao, sometimes called “The other Machu Picchu.” It's a spectacular but demanding 5-day trek. Here they are at 5 am, ready to hit the trail. We wish them the best of luck.
Photo: Marcia and I join a tour organized by a company called Inkanatura. With five others we will travel by van from Cusco and all the way down to the Peruvian Amazon.
Photo: It's a long ride through mostly barren mountains and occasional towns.
Photo: A few areas are intensely cultivated.
Photo: At this 13,000-ft. pass we get good views of the snow peaks of Ausangate.
Photo: Here's a view through my telephoto lens.
Photo: Eventually we reach the old town of Paucartambo (9500 ft. elevation). The bridge was built in the 1500s.
Photo: It's a quiet place now.
Photo: However, in mid July Paucartambo hosts one of the most colorful and wild festivals in all Peru, in honor of the Virgen del Carmen.
Photo: it's worth a few minutes to watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRu9oiSxSNQ
Photo: After Paucartambo the road starts descending into the wetter eastern slopes of the Andes.
Photo: Shortly we reach the entrance to Manu National Park.
Photo: where we stop for a break.