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Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time [Kindle Edition]

Mark Adams
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (325 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $9.97
You Save: $6.03 (38%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

What happens when an adventure travel expert-who's never actually done anything adventurous-tries to re-create the original expedition to Machu Picchu?

July 24, 1911, was a day for the history books. For on that rainy morning, the young Yale professor Hiram Bingham III climbed into the Andes Mountains of Peru and encountered an ancient city in the clouds: the now famous citadel of Machu Picchu. Nearly a century later, news reports have recast the hero explorer as a villain who smuggled out priceless artifacts and stole credit for finding one of the world's greatest archaeological sites.

Mark Adams has spent his career editing adventure and travel magazines, so his plan to investigate the allegations against Bingham by retracing the explorer's perilous path to Machu Picchu isn't completely far- fetched, even if it does require him to sleep in a tent for the first time. With a crusty, antisocial Australian survivalist and several Quechua-speaking, coca-chewing mule tenders as his guides, Adams takes readers through some of the most gorgeous and historic landscapes in Peru, from the ancient Inca capital of Cusco to the enigmatic ruins of Vitcos and Vilcabamba.

Along the way he finds a still-undiscovered country populated with brilliant and eccentric characters, as well as an answer to the question that has nagged scientists since Hiram Bingham's time: Just what was Machu Picchu?

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Ebullient..seamlessly joins three narrative threads..an engaging and sometimes hilarious book."-New York Times Book Review

"[An] entirely delightful book"-Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post (also chosen as a 2011 Year-End Pick)

"Like all great travelogues (and this is certainly one), 'Turn Right'..should come with a fedora and a rucksack." -Men's Journal, Ten Best Nonfiction Books of 2011

"Adams deftly weaves together Inca history, Bingham's story and his own less heroic escapade. [A] wry, revealing romp through the Andes."-Wall Street Journal

"Quite funny and unpretentiously well informed. Short of actually traveling to Machu Picchu yourself, it's the perfect way to acknowledge the lost city's 100th birthday as a modern-day tourist site."-Christian Science Monitor ("Editor's Choice")

"Adams proves an engaging, informative guide to all things Inca."-Entertainment Weekly

"Mark Adams crisscrossed the Andes and has returned with a superb and important tale of adventure and archeology."-Sebastian Junger

"If you haven't been to Machu Picchu and environs, this book will inspire you to drop everything and go. And if you've already been, Turn Right at Machu Picchu will transport you straight back to those soul-soaring heights."-National Geographic Traveler ("Book of the Month")

"A story that hooks readers early and then sails along so interestingly that it's one of those 'can't put it down' books. What more could armchair adventurers want?"-Associated Press

Review

"[An] entirely delightful book."
(-Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post )

“An engaging, informative guide to all things Inca.”
(-Entertainment Weekly )

“Quite funny and unpretentiously well informed...The perfect way to acknowledge the lost city’s 100th birthday.”
(-Christian Science Monitor (���Editor���s Choice���) )

Product Details

  • File Size: 18226 KB
  • Print Length: 353 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Reprint edition (June 30, 2011)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004XFYIDS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,579 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
200 of 209 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seriously Funny and Seriously Good June 30, 2011
Format:Hardcover
Mark Adams' "Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time" is a book that's a bit hard to classify. All at once, it's a serious (and seriously funny) travelogue; a smart and tightly written history; and an investigative report into the greatest archaeological discovery of the last century.

Author Adams spent time writing and editing for the now defunct National Geographic Adventurer magazine and despite working with and alongside some of the world's hardest core adventure travelers, he admits to not being much of one himself. He'd visited Machu Picchu with his son, but he'd done it the tourist way. He wanted to REdiscover Machu Picchu - the way its' original discoverer, Hiram Bingham, had 100 years ago this July. He wanted to hike, climb, slog, tent and explore his way through the Vilcabamba region of Peru and finish at the site that was recently named one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.

Adams doesn't camp and hadn't been in a tent for years leading up to his Peruvian excursion. His preparation for the trip was extensive, including dressing the part of adventurer. "Have you ever seen Mr. Travel Guy? He's the fellow who strides through international airports dressed like he's flying off to hunt wildebeests - shirt with dozens of pockets, drip-dry pants that zip off into shorts, floppy hat with a cord pulled tight under the chin in case a twister blows through the baggage claim area. All of this describes exactly what I was wearing. I could have been trick-or-treating as Hemingway."

Make no mistake. Adams trip was an uncompromising adventure. There were no soft train rides, or helicopter drops into the jungle.
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111 of 121 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mark Adams leads three expeditions to Machu Picchu June 30, 2011
Format:Hardcover
Back when Al Franken was a comedian and not a U.S. senator, he did a bit on "Saturday Night Live" in which he would describe some major event and end by asking, "how does this affect me, Al Franken?"

That, to me, is the stupid heart of the stunt memoir, those books in which the author undertakes a challenge outside his or her comfort zone, and then reports back on what it means to him. Such memoirs start with the assumption that the author is much more interesting than whatever they're doing (usually false) and that just become something interesting happens to them makes them even more interesting (always false).

Thankfully, Mark Adams doesn't participate in that nonsense. Although "Turn Right at Machu Picchu" starts with a similar elevator pitch ' "travel magazine copy editor gets out from behind his desk to explore Incan ruins in Peru" ' he comes back with a book that looks more outward than inward. Like a "Seinfeld" episode, there's no learning and no hugging.

Adams uses three narrative threads to weave his story, starting with the Incans and their fatal encounters with the Spanish invaders during the 1500s. It's not a pretty story, starting with the most commonly known story of Francisco Pizarro and Atahualpa, in which the Incan emperor promised a room full of gold in return for his freedom, an offer which Pizarro accepted and then reneged on by having Atahualpa strangled

Over the next three decades, subsequent Incan ruler moved between building new capitals in the jungle and raiding the Spanish. The Spanish responded with raids and various atrocities until, in 1572, they declared all-out war on the rebel Incan state. The empire dissolved when its last ruler, Tupac Amaru, was captured and executed.
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An engaging narrative of history and adventure July 4, 2011
By Tegan
Format:Hardcover
Mark Adams became interested in the story of Hiram Bingham after all the news coverage when it was learned that he wasn't really the discoverer of Machu Picchu. And eventually Adams decided to walk in Bingham's footsteps, following the trails he took, and see Peru the way Bingham had. This book is essentially a travelogue that explores both Adams' and Bingham's journeys, and reflects on what both of them did and learned in Peru.

The writing style is engaging enough to make this an easy and comfortable read. It slips a little when Adams gives us too much about his own life, coming perilously close to "too much information" territory without ever quite falling off the edge. He manages to cram a lot of detail into the narrative without becoming monotonous. At times I almost felt I was there in the jungle or high mountain passes with him because his descriptions conjured up familiar sensations. Adams also ventures into political territory at times to explain events, and does so effectively and without strong bias. Although it's easy to tell from the text that Adams is passionate about the subject, his writing manages to be dispassionate enough to make him a trusted narrator of events.

The galley I read did not have any images and was missing the index, although there was a space for it. The book did include a very nice glossary and a timeline of events in Peru. I could also have used a bibliography of all the texts mentioned in the narrative, many of which I felt like reading after Adams described them so enthusiastically (Note: bibliography is in the finished book).

I'd recommend this one to anyone interested in South American history, anyone who loves a good adventure tale, and anyone who wants to go on a trip to Machu Picchu. It's a nice solid read, and worth checking out.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional tale
This is an incredible book. It's actually exceptional tales as it intertwined the author's quest to recreate the path of the original "discoverer" of Machu Picchu. Read more
Published 10 hours ago by richard mills
5.0 out of 5 stars It was a lot of fun to read this author's account of his experience...
It was a lot of fun to read this author's account of his experience and history with Machu Picchu while I was in Peru going there myself! Read more
Published 5 days ago by tvsmitty
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read for Machu Picchu
We tried several books on Machu Picchu which were dull and didactic; Mark Adams made learning about Machu Picchu fun and informative. Read more
Published 9 days ago by calbudgie
5.0 out of 5 stars Glad Mark lived through the ordeal!
At first I thought I was reading a fictional account,(based on some disclaimers in the beginning of the book), but I soon realized the author was sharing his personal experiences. Read more
Published 18 days ago by Jim Leeds
5.0 out of 5 stars fun,fun,fun,fun?fun,fun!
Everyone!! The book is a delight!! Factual and maybe not so, but great reading! Heading there soon, hope it helps!
Published 20 days ago by L. Morucci
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I really enjoyed this book. I want to hike the Inca Trail now.
Published 21 days ago by Becky Hall
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good!
Very good!
Published 21 days ago by DJR
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Interesting book that mingles history and geography with modern-day adventure.
Published 22 days ago by John Kulp
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read
I liked the way ancient Inca history, facts about Binghams story and info about the author's current journey were incorporated. Read more
Published 23 days ago by Kay
5.0 out of 5 stars As described. Very satisfied.
I was very pleased with this purchase.
Published 24 days ago by Prospector
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