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11. Posted by dpd (Full Member 138 posts) 11y

No, not at all it's a total coinsidence. Actuallty I'm flying into New York on the 2nd of May. I took a leap of faith and have joined up with a group going to the Chachapoyas region for about two weeks. I discovered it on this forum actually, from a poster called Davarian. You may even have come accross his thread, I basically liked the information, the angle of conservation his group was taking, plus his interest in the area.

I thought that this would be a lovely introduction to the area and in some ways a soft option, you know joining up with a group but knowing that it was just the tip of the iceberg in travelling terms.

I'm getting close to dday and I can't let myself get too excited about the trip. Don't get me wrong, I can't wait but the trip is about the journey and how it developes. In truth it's something that I should have done along time ago. But we only do things when should or when we are ready. I dont feel prepared but I guess I'm ready.
David ;)

12. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

Machu Picchu Under Threat From Pressures of Tourism

By John Roach
for National Geographic News

April 15, 2002

Cable Car Pressures

The concern about landslides has bolstered arguments against a proposal to install a cable car that would replace the diesel-powered buses that carry tourists from Aguas Calientes up to the mountaintop ruins.

Conservation and cultural preservation organizations, including the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), say a cable car would mar the natural vistas and increase tourist traffic to an unsupportable level of at least 400,000 visitors a year.

The International Counsel of Scientific Associations prepared a landslide hazard assessment report for UNESCO in 1999. The report says that the upper station for the cable car would sit atop the second most active landslide region, and the constant vibrations from cable car operation could trigger a disaster.

A year ago, Peru's Ministry of Industry, Tourism, Integration, and International Commerce suspended indefinitely the contract that the government had awarded to Peru Hotels SA to build the cable car concession in 1998. The opposition by UNESCO was cited as one of the reasons for the suspension of the project.

Nevertheless, conservationists who have worked hard to put an end to the cable car project are not ready to celebrate. "There is no question that those interests behind the cable car intend for it to go ahead. It is a major piece in the money-earning potential for the people that have the hotel and railway," said Chidakash, who has created a Web site centered on opposition to the cable car project.

The owner of the cable car concession, Peru Hotels, is a subsidiary of Orient Express, an international hotel, train, restaurant, and cruise company based in England. The company owns the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge at the entrance to the ruins and runs the tourist train from Cusco to Machu Picchu.

President Alejandro Toledo, who was sworn in on July 28, 2001, indicated his opposition to the cable car project when he pledged to the Peruvian people that he would safeguard their national heritage. But statements made in recent months by members of his administration are making the conservation community skeptical.

"President Toledo's vice president for tourism, Ramiro Salas, is speaking publicly of a cable car to the back of the ruins," said Bointon. "This suggests that pressure exerted by Orient Express and its partners may be succeeding in eroding President Toledo's pledge."

The link below has the entire article:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2002/04/0415_020415_machu.html

Fortunately I guess this will never happen for the reasons that "our Peru native, areinstein " points out below:

almost every plan (of that sort) that has been proposed by the government or the city has never come to fruition and when at the very least it gets on its way, it is never finished.

Reason No. 1 = there is no money.
Reason No. 2 = when there is money, a dirty politician steals it away.

13. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

Seems like this (read article below) would take a little of the "mystery and magic" out of the Machu Picchu experience, don't you think?

Even though, as Anne points out, this will probably never happen, it reminds me of why I have a certain sence of urgency to see places before the fences go up restricting access, or the giant hotel is built right next to the exotic monument, or the native people are running around with their "ipods", etc...

BBC News World: Americas
Inca site cable car plan sparks anger

Access to Machu Picchu will be a good deal easier

By Malcolm Brabant in Machu Picchu

Since time began nothing has obscured the dawn in this corner of the Andes. The Incas built Machu Picchu high in the mountains largely because it was so remote.

Now these pristine mountains are about to be transformed for ever by Swiss engineering, much to the horror of many travellers who trek for days along the Inca Trail to sample the magic of Machu Picchu.

We've travelled over 40km over the most amazing terrain to get here, and now people are just going to fly through the air by cable car - it just seems wrong," says British tourist Amy Grundy.

Ruth Charamboulos from Australia is also opposed to the idea. "The cable car itself I think it's just ridiculous - you might as well put a chair-lift up the Inca Trail, if they're going to do that."

Same experience

The cable car will hoist visitors from the banks of the Urubamba River and take them 500m up the mountain pass to a point 300m from the Machu Picchu ruins.

The cable car structure will be visible from the site's famous Sun Temple. But according to developers it will not encroach on the most popular view of the Hidden City, towards the peak known as Huena Pichu.

Roberto Persivales, a spokesman for the consortium of developers which plans to build the cable car, believes the plan won't damage the site.

"Once people - even archeologists I've spoken to, and architects - see the real path that the cable car will take, they see that this cable car will not ruin any of the existing views and the experience that we've had in the past will be the same," he says.

An increase in tourist traffic which a cable car might bring could be good for the musicians and craftsmen who make a living around the ruins, but it would hurt the local bus drivers who currently shuttle visitors between the valley floor and the summit. They could lose up to 80% of their business.

Charles Munn works in eco-tourism in Peru. He says that a cable car could improve the environment - by reducing the road traffic - but he still has reservations.

"Big-business tourism causes me concern in Machu Picchu and many other areas because the local people often earn so little money from the tourism while a few companies make a lot of money - and they have no stake in protecting the region," he says.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/428396.stm

14. Posted by areinstein (Travel Guru 2788 posts) 11y

Quoting dpd

No, not at all it's a total coinsidence. Actuallty I'm flying into New York on the 2nd of May. I took a leap of faith and have joined up with a group going to the Chachapoyas region for about two weeks.

Hey David, I do believe I saw something about some people going to Chachapoyas although I am not sure if that is the group you are going with. You are going at the perfect time too. Peru has three very distinct geographical regions and while the weather may be nice in one area, the other is rainy, cold, with your occasional landslides. I went to Cuzco in May and the weather was absolutely perfect. June is even better. I have never been in Chachapoyas but hopefully some day I will...there is so much to see, so little time

15. Posted by areinstein (Travel Guru 2788 posts) 11y

Quoting Travel100

Even though, as Anne points out, this will probably never happen, it reminds me of why I have a certain sence of urgency to see places before the fences go up restricting access, or the giant hotel is built right next to the exotic monument, or the native people are running around with their "ipods", etc...

You got a couple of pretty good articles Jeffrey...just like you, I do have a sense of urgency to see places that potentially wont offer the same "magic" years down the road. I had been debating about hiking the Kilimanjaro in 2006 but once I heard the snowcap was melting and may totally disappear by 2010, I said to myself...THATS where I have to go! So off I go...God willing.

I am pretty sure you have been to Maccu Pichu (I havent gone through your travel log in detail...it is too damn long!!! ) but technically you can walk up to the ruins from Aguas Calientes!!! Whats with this cable car crap!!!! It would take so much from the beauty and the view of the ruins. Picture this...beautiful pics, beautiful scenary, snapshot!...damn, the cable car is in the background! I vote for a big fat NO on that one.

Based on your articles, it seems like there is enough oposition already and it wont come to a reality. As I type this at home, I am looking at a 4 x 6 picture of Macchu Piccu with four of our trekker companions looking at the ruins in a late afternoon. What a peaceful amazing day that was...

16. Posted by areinstein (Travel Guru 2788 posts) 11y

Quoting dpd

No, not at all it's a total coinsidence.

BTW, start doing some searches on the Intiraymi celebrations in Cuzco...they happen through the whole month of June, festivities in the streets, a lot of customs, colors, folklore, native dances, everything you can imagine. I'll see if tomorrow I can get you some links. My computer at home is too slow

17. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

Hi Anne,

Yes I was in Machu Picchu back in June 1998 (I also had a great day there, since I spent the night down in Aguas Calientes I was able to stay up on the mountain when the "day-trippers" had to leave to catch the train back to Cuzco. Then I was fortunate to almost have the place to myself (except for a few resident llamas :)) I hung out up in the little house at the top for hours and just enjoyed the "feeling" that you get being in such a "special" place.

I definitely don't need a cable car but I didn't walk up either, I took the scary bus ride up and down.

Peru's a great country! It's definitely on the list of countries that I've visited but would still like to re-visit. You're lucky to be from there, although I suppose it was kind of dangerous (Shinning Star, etc.) when you were growing up there.

18. Posted by areinstein (Travel Guru 2788 posts) 11y

Quoting Travel100

Peru's a great country! It's definitely on the list of countries that I've visited but would still like to re-visit. You're lucky to be from there, although I suppose it was kind of dangerous (Shinning Star, etc.) when you were growing up there.

Our 4 day hike to Maccu Picchu took us 3 days instead of 4 (we hiked about 10 hrs per day instead of 6-8) so we arrived there a day early. Our tour guide gave us the option to go to a hotel or camp at Aguas Calientes, just like we had been in the Inka Trail. We are unanimously decided to camp it out. It was soooo dark but so peaceful. I bought dinner for the 8 porters in our group and they were static!! Mind you, food is really cheap, it didnt cost much but it meant the world to them...what we spend here in out outing can feed the whole group there...and more.

Yes, I love the fact that I come from such a beautiful country but I left when I was 16 so I didnt have a chance to see all that I could see of my own country. To be honest, the first time I went to Cuzco I was 28!! It was embarrasing when people would ask me if I had been there and being from there...well, you know.

When I grew up, there wasnt much of the Shining Path in Lima (thats where I am from). There were mostly located in Ayacucho, Huancayo, in the Andes. They starting closing in near the capital in the early 90s and I was long gone by then. What would happen every now and then was the typical once a week blackouts. Most of the power to the city is mostly generated by rivers coming down from the mountains and the big towers were located along side the rivers. The terrorists would blow those up and bam! no electricity for a day or two. That was a nuisance but as everything else you get used to it. But for the most part, I never experienced the scary things you may have seen on TV or read about in the paper. One thing I can "thank" terrorism in Peru is that I was able to obtain political asylum and remain in the US legally for a long while. As long as you can prove the terrorists are after something that they want, it is granted. My dad was a foreigner, he had his businesses and I was the poor child they wanted to kidnap .

The closest terrorism hit home was when the leader of the Shining Path was found in Lima (after 25 yrs) living in a huge house (would never come out of the house) with all kinds of maids and helpers doing everything for him about 5 minutes away from my own house!!!! I was reading the front page of the NY Times, I think it was 1991 or 1992 and the address were he was found was shown...I almost freaked. I called my parents from a pay phone in Manhattan...I just had to stop what I was doing at that very moment.

BTW, I wanted to mention...I am pretty impressed by your travel resume. You are probably one of the very very few americans that have embraced the notion of traveling. Most americans are extremely afraid of the "unknown" abroad...as most say..."nothing outside of the US is safe"...I get crap about that all the time.

19. Posted by areinstein (Travel Guru 2788 posts) 11y

Quoting Travel100

...I was able to stay up on the mountain when the "day-trippers" had to leave...

I read it like this..."I was able to stay up on the mountain when the "strippers" had to leave..." hahahaha I had to do a quick double take...

20. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

I definitely think cable cars and "strippers" would sort of change the athmophere of Machu Picchu (although the "strippers" really wouldn't be such a bad idea ).