- Taschenbuch: 188 Seiten
- Verlag: Johnson Books; Auflage: Rev Ill (1. Februar 2004)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1555663273
- ISBN-13: 978-1555663278
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 21,6 x 14 x 1,2 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 231.577 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
The Machu Picchu Guidebook: A Self-Guided Tour (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 1. Februar 2004
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The Machu Picchu Guidebook "The best all around guide for those who've been or who are going to Machu Picchu . . . . Absolutely indispensable!"--Don Montague, president, South American Explorers. This revised edition includes newly discovered sites and full-color illustrations of real-life scenes from "National Geographic." Full description
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Machu Picchu is the remains of an entire urban area complete with agricultural, residential, royal and religious areas. You should plan on spending at least a day at Machu Picchu to fully experience this site. This book is all you need for a complete self-guided tour of Machu Picchu. This book covers everything in detail and packs in a lot more information and insights into the Inca culture and style of architecture than any guided tour will cover (guided tours typically last only 2-3 hours). Even if you have a guide, this book will be an useful supplement.
The book comes with a clear fold out map of the entire Machu Picchu site. The book divides the site into several zones (the Temple of the Sun area, the Royal Residence, the Sacred Plaza etc.) and devotes a separate chapter to each zone. Each chapter comes with its own maps, nice photos and concise descriptions of everything that is interesting to see in that zone. The authors have ordered the chapters according to their recommended sequence of areas for exploring Machu Picchu. I followed the same sequence and would highly recommend it also. Apart from these above chapters the book also contains several additional chapters that provide background and supplemental information. The chapter on the Inca Water Management system is particularly enlightening because the complexity of the water system is not readily apparent when you stare over the maze of ruins in Machu Picchu. Water still flows into Machu Picchu from a mountain spring and this chapter provides some insight into the ingenuity of the Inca engineers in providing ample water for the agricultural terraces and the inhabitants of the urban center. The chapter titled "Side Trips" gives you ample information on the sites around Machu Picchu like the Inca Drawbridge, the trail to the peak of Huayna Pichu and the Temple of the Moon etc. One other nice feature is that the new edition has an interesting fold-out section showing an artist's depiction of how Machu Picchu looked liked in its heyday.
If you are interested in learning more about Inca architecture, I would highly recommend Inca Architecture by Gasparini and Margolies. Hiram Bingham's Inca Land and Lost City Of The Incas are staple reads before you venture out into the land of the Incas.
Also, some general advice on visiting the Machu Picchu site. The site opens early in the morning at 6am and the site is relatively calm until the trains from Cusco start arriving at around 10:30 am onwards. If you do the Inca Trail hike you will get to Machu Picchu at sunrise. If not, I would suggest that you take the train from Cusco the previous day and spend the night in Aguas Calientes. This way you can catch the early bus to Machu Picchu (a 20 minute ride) and enjoy the site before the crowds arrive. It is truly a once-in-a-lifetime event. Make sure you have the time and space to enjoy it!
Huayna Picchu is the imposing peak that appears in the background of the most common image of Machu Picchu. Its peak hosts architectural structures of its own, and provides a spectacular aerial view to Machu Picchu. The very steep trail takes about an hour to climb. It is a site not to be missed in my opinion, but one has to plan in advance to visit, primarily because the entrance to the trail closes at 1pm. Huayna Picchu, though its name is mentioned in the book's preface, is not dealt in detail until close to the end of the book. This is why I suggest readers to at least skim till the end of the book before arrival.
Other reasons why the book should be read prior to arrival are for the obscure artifacts. For instance the image stones on the walls of Intiwatana (the principal temple), which supposedly represent (and replicate) the surrounding mountains can easily go neglected if one hadn't read the corresponding entries in the book -- the stones look like natural stones placed where they are by happenstance unless one knows of their significance a-priori.
The book is thorough, serves its purpose well, and as pointed out earlier, does not fail to convey the enthusiasm of the author. However I think it could have made better if it included a list of locations not to be missed upfront. Hiring a local tour guide arguably is the best option, but the book is the next best thing, especially if compared to other self-guides in print.
The section on water management illustrates the brilliance of the Inca engineers.The section on the climb up Huayna Picchu, is detailed and makes the climb less daunting. The description also give appropriate cautions about climbing there in slippery weather.
On several pages, there are photographs of the ruins next to artist's renditions of what the buildings might have looked like when they were in use in the 1500s.
As an anthropologist myself, I wish that I had had a copy of a guidebook even half as good as that authored by Ruth Wright and Alfredo Valencia Zegarra. Combining a clearly written text with intriguing photos and practical diagrams, The Machu Picchu Guidebook is the single best publication on this site that I have seen. While written primarily for the astute traveler, it will be of use to professionals as well.
My own work with indigenous water systems in places like Guyana and Indonesia led to my cursory examination in 1982 of the system at Machu Picchu. It proved fascinating, but I had little time for study. To their credit, Ruth Wright and her husband, Ken Wright (in conjunction with a number of their colleagues from the U.S. and Peru) instituted a remarkably thorough archaeological/engineering investigation of this Incan system in the 1990s. This same degree of care and attention to detail is seen in the guidebook, which had its genesis in their archaeological research.
In conclusion, it should be noted that Ruth Wright is a former chair of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of The Explorers Club. Her book brings an explorer's enthusiasm to Machu Picchu, while maintaining high standards of authorship.