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Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time Paperback – Illustrated, April 24, 2012
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“[An] engaging and sometimes hilarious book.”—The New York Times Book Review
“A serious (and seriously funny) travelogue, a smart and tightly written history, and an investigative report into perhaps the greatest archaeological discovery in the last century.”—NationalGeographic.com
“An engaging, informative guide to all things Inca.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Adams deftly weaves together Inca history, Bingham's story, and his own less heroic escapade....Those favoring a quirkier retelling [of Bingham's exploits] will relish Mr. Adam's wry, revealing romp through the Andes.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Quite funny and unpretentiously well informed...The perfect way to acknowledge the lost city’s one hundredth birthday.”—Christian Science Monitor (“Editor’s Choice”)
“[An] entirely delightful book.”—The Washington Post
“With a healthy sense of humor...Adams unearths a fascinating story, transporting his readers back to 1911, when Yale professor Hiram Bingham III hiked the Andes and stumbled upon on of South America's most miraculous and cloistered meccas.”—NPR.org
About the Author
- Publisher : Dutton; Illustrated edition (April 24, 2012)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 333 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0452297982
- ISBN-13 : 978-0452297982
- Item Weight : 10.3 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #54,682 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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Yes, it was a true rediscovery of Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail which I hiked at the age of 62 in 2002, highlight of my adult life. I'm grateful for the many hours of armchair travel the author provided me as chances are that I will not be able to return unless someone volunteers a golden litter and a couple of handsome chasquis!
Mark's book contained fun tidbits and factoids that I could share with my travel companions. Sometimes I read whole sections out loud to them. Machu Picchu was the last stop on our 2.5-week journey and it was fun to arrive about the same time Mark did at the end of his book.
It's full of useful information and it prepares you for everything you can expect on this must-do journey. The author warns you about the extreme UV index (don't forget your sunscreen), the little mosquito-type flies that make even the puma cry (bring bug spray!), the fact that Peruvians drink only instant coffee despite the fact that they export some of the best coffee beans in the world.
And did I mention the book is just hilarious! Who would think of comparing the ups and downs of the Inca Trail to the stock market during the dot-com bubble!
And on top of it all, you get all the history an the background on the Incas, Machu Picchu, and the Sacred Valley.
Bingham, who originally received a lot of accolades for his discovery, later became a highly controversial figure. To this day, in fact, arguments about his accomplishments and practices are still taking place, particularly regarding the artifacts that he collected (stole? borrowed?) and took to the United States. There are those who maintain that Machu Picchu was never lost at all; that Bingham merely happened to be the first outsider to come across it. Regardless of whether he truly discovered Machu Picchu or simply became its publicist, Bingham is undoubtedly responsible for worldwide awareness of and interest in the mountain city. Following his lead 100 years later ends up becoming a fascinating journey of adventure and discovery for Adams.
Interspersed with information about Incan history and Bingham’s expeditions, Adams relates his experiences trekking through the remote regions of Peru with his tough-as-nails Australian guide John Leivers. For a man who has never even slept in a tent before, Adams hangs in there and carries on with his adventure rather well as time goes by, and I was happy to go along for the ride from the comforts of my armchair.
His writing is both funny and informative, and I loved learning more about what is undoubtedly one of the world’s true wonders.
Top reviews from other countries
The book is very readable and taught me a lot. But do read it all the way to the end as the author later questions or disproves some of the ideas he sets out in earlier chapters.
The interweaving of the 3 stories - the Incas, Bingham, and the author's trip, gets a little confusing in places but there is a helpful timeline and glossary at the end of the book.
Interesting enough and for me worth reading ahead of my planned trip to Peru next year. The writing style was fine for me as a reader - though not page burningly captivating