I was talking with an Uruguayan today about our arrival in Uruguay, how people always asked why we’d want to live here when we could live in the Untied Snakes (OK, they didn’t say it exactly like that). This picture I took yesterday reminds me of the answer (especially after almost three years in Mexico): tranquilidad.
Then this, a “garbage” photo that I don’t think I took but I like. Shades of Henri Cartier-Bresson, perhaps. Or maybe it’s the weirdness of the street reflector looking like a sixth finger? Whatever.
Cuzco, Perú, July 2016
And then, this, from a week and a half ago. Dog barking from a tile roof. Of course.
Just a few days before leaving for Peru in early July, I ran across a fascinating hypothesis and paper by James McCanney. What makes it more interesting is that I wasn’t looking for information about the Nazca lines, but instead checking in on his web site, which I haven’t visited in years.
Here are a couple of photos I took from the air. You can find better on the web.
As with all the later Nazca designs, they are made with a single line. And no one has an even remotely reasonable explanation for them. Well, of course, except for National Geographic, which dismisses them as ritual footpaths. They stop — just barely — short of calling them temples.
However, McCanney has a different idea, and, like his original explanation of the electric universe, it makes more sense than any official story, and as with the ancient “Inca” stonework, involves technologies far in advance of ours. Start this video at 50 minutes for a his background, then the fascinating next hour.
(With the little lower-right YouTube “settings” gear, you can play it at 1.5X or2X speed.)
After the drab weather in Lima, we were promised, as we headed south, that 15 minutes outside of Paracas, we’d be drenched in sunlight. Alas, didn’t happen. Blame El Niño.
Besides the skulls, when in Paracas a boat trip to the Ballestas Islands is a must. On the way, you pass the Paracas Candelabra, a rather remarkable carving on the Paracas Peninsula that barely shows up when there’s no sun, despite intense photo manipulation.
Then on to the islands. And birds.
Not all of them fly.
But most do.
And they just keep coming, as far as the eye can see.
On the peninsula on the other side of the Candelabra, the scenery is quite spectacular.
And potentially dangerous.
And — lo and behold — the promised sun makes a return!
Lima — at least the part worth seeing — is built on a high bluff. If you go between May and October, this is pretty much what it looks like every day. No sun.
But you can imagine how exploring on foot gives a good workout. Of course I had to go check out that pavilion on the jetty.
Proof! Lots of crabs. And happy seagulls, no doubt. You’ll also see lots of wannabe surfers. I thought I had a picture of them, but the light was so drab I found it difficult to get enthusiastic about taking pictures.
Miraflores, where we stayed, is upscale (and has the kitteh park). If you stayed and ate there, and avoided the rest of the city of 10 million, you might be convinced Lima is an OK place.
In the middle of Miraflores, you’ll find the Huaca Pucllana, a massive construction of mud bricks. We took many photos, and most are about as drab as you’d expect when photographing piles of mud bricks in dull light. This particular construction technique, with spaces between the bricks, makes it resistant to earthquake damage.
And in places it does indeed look like it’s been shaken around a bit.
Did I say there was no sun in Lima? I lied. This must have lasted a full five minutes.
And then, finally, some interesting light in Lima. Sort of.
Part of the Tiwanaku complex, Pumapunku doesn’t jump out at you. It’s just scattered rocks, until you look more closely.
The stones that form the platform are immense, and — as seems to be the theme — quarried and transported from a site improbably far away. Evidence of elaborate and precise machining of the stone is everywhere. This platform is called the temple, which is archeologist-speak for we have no idea what the hell this thing was.
Here Yousef Awyan points out intricate and precise stonework similar to what he sees in Egypt.
Evidence of machining includes perfectly circular drilled holes. in the background, Pumapunku’s distinct “H” blocks.
An interesting feature of these blocks came to light last January. Brien Foerster (pictured) had along a British engineer in his 80s (amazing guy who had stopped flying his own helicopter just a couple years before) who had brought a Tesla meter (magnetometer). Lo and behold, new mysteries! Knowing this, many on this tour had brought compasses. in this case, moving the compass inside the “H” recess causes it to point south instead of north!
One person brought dowsing rods, which reacted wildly. One would hold steady while the other spun like crazy. Changing position would cause the spinning one to reverse direction, or stop while the other started spinning.
Throughout the site, excavated stones are piled up more or less randomly, further demonstrating that the archeologists remain clueless about their positioning or function.
And there is much more of the Tiwanaku complex to be discovered. Here Antonio Portugal shows the results of ground-penetrating radar, which reveals promising excavation possibilities that may never happen for political reasons.
In closing, a couple more images from Tiwanaku:
Amazing stonework — function unknown — from many thousand years ago.