Peru

I went to Peru in September 2005 and following is a short description of some of the things I saw there, which can be seen in the video.

The Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco was established by Nilda Callañaupa in 1996. Its mission is to preserve and promote the indigenous Andean weaving traditions, practiced for more than 2000 years. Every village has its own weaving patterns and traditions. Peruvian weaving is a ritual activity honoring Pachamama (Mother Earth).

I took the Hiram Bingham train, which is the most luxurious way to journey from Cusco to a train station close to Machu Picchu, via the Sacred Valley. The train is named after Hiram Bingham III, (November 19, 1875 – June 6, 1956), who was an American academic, explorer and politician. He is said to have rediscovered the Inca settlement of Machu Picchu in 1911.

The train, consisting of two dining cars, an observation bar car, and a kitchen car. The carriages are painted blue and gold while interiors are luxurious, warm and inviting with elegant decoration in the style of the 1920’s Pullman trains.

I stayed one-night stay at Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge located right by the entrance to Machu Picchu. I recommend this because when I arrived it was rain but the day after the sun shined.

Cuzco was the capital of the Incas, who considered it the centre of the world. The square, Plaza de Armas, was the exact center of the empire. Later Peru became the center of the Spanish empire in South America. Cuzco is South America’s oldest continuously inhabited city.

At Plaza de Armas I saw a Hermandad del Señor catholic religious procession, which was very impressive.

I stayed at Hotel Monasterio which is very close to Plaza de Armas. I recommend this hotel and I am not the only one, because it has obtained the Readers´ Choice Awards, in the renowned Condé Nast Traveler magazine, as the best hotel in South America 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. It was build as a monastery in 1592 and is considered a Historic Monument by the National Institute of Culture. Because Cuzco is 3,400 meters (11,155 ft) above see level, there is a risk of altitude sickness. Therefore oxygen is piped into the rooms 24 hours a day. Oxygenating the rooms down to an atmospheric pressure of approximately 2,400 meters is low enough to prevent ill effects from altitude sickness. Also oxygenation will improve sleep, which result in better daytime performance and health.

I was very pleased with their service of the Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. (OEH), which is a hotel and leisure group focused on the luxury end of the leisure market. In joint venture with other companies it operates the Hiram Bingham train and manages the Hotel Monasterio and the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge.

peruThe music is provided by my friend Chuck Jonkey in Los Angeles. He is musician/composer and known as the “Indiana Jones of the music world” because he has travelled around the world to collect sounds, instruments, environmental recordings and ethnic tribal music. He is the owner of the independent record label Sonic Safari Music, where e.g. ethnic tribal music and music by him can be bought. His collection of strange musical instruments is enormous, which he uses sometimes in his music. Chuck Jonkey’s music has been featured in many feature films e.g. Rambo IV (2008), J.F.K. (1991), The Doors (1991) and TV shows, e.g. Nip / Tuck (2003), Survivors and shows at Discovery Channel. He has also composed several hundred musical pieces for Microsoft’s software products.

To order the CD with music in the video from Sonic Safari Music you can click on the cover.

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