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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
Mark Adams is the author of the acclaimed history Mr. America, which The Washington Post named a Best Book of 2009, and the New York Times bestsellers Meet Me in Atlantis and Turn Right at Machu Picchu. A writer for many national magazines, including GQ, Men's Journal, and New York, he lives near New York City with his wife and children.
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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.
I'm not going to regurgitate what other reviewers have said about the author's fun yet informative writing style and how easy it is to understand the historical facts.
I loved the cover page artwork, but what REALLY helped me follow the story were the 16 pages of black-and-white photographs, including some dating back to 1911. The 45 photos added immensely to the narrative.
If you like reading adventure travel stories, are attracted to South American (and Inca) history, and want to be entertained while you are being educated, you will probably enjoy this book.
Now, off to see if Mark Adams has written any other books!
Mr. Adams hired a great guide, John, who knew all the right people to hire. John is an interesting and funny man and Mr. Adams describes him so well that I didn't have to see the pictures to know what he looked like.
I enjoyed this book completely and would love to make plans to go to Machu Picchu as soon as possible. This book has made me appreciate it so much more than I would have without it.