Mule Whisperers and Stolen Treasures Just Part of the Disoveries of This Book Expedition
Of all the things on the planet I could ever aspire to do before I die, exploring the jungle would be the last thing I'd choose.
For the moment, overlooking the factoid that I am the last person that would fit into any sort of explorer profile, let's just say that I don't see traipsing up and down weed-choked jungle-infested mountains as something that would be fun.
Mark Adams, however, undertook the challenge of re-tracing the track of one Hiram Bingham III and he captured my amazement with the story of his journey.
Mark Adams is a fairly fit sort of fellow though his occupation before this challenge was more of a sedentary nature. Mark is a writer and in order to accurately write this book he undertook the challenge of re-creating the exploration of Hiram Bingham.
Hiram Bingham, as the reader learns, was an American explorer who set out to explore the wild of Peru, an expedition that had a goal of discovering a so-called "lost city" that was the subject of world speculation.
It would turn out that under finance by the National Geographic via editor Gilbert Grosvenor, Bingham DID find the lost city of Machu Picchu. Bingham brought back a few souvenirs from his exploration which became the stuff of controversy some years later.
It is believed that the movie character of Indiana Jones is based roughly on Hiram Bingham. For his notoriety Bingham did go on to become a Senator, having lived a successful life of great celebration.
Mark Adams hired some help for his trek up the mountains to view Machu Picchu, the first being his guide.
John Leivers was Mark's guide for his journey and he presents a most amazing story right in the middle of the book. For here's a fellow whose spent most of his life traipsing up and down mountains around the world, for one does not hire a guide with no experience, and yet when Mark chances to contact him again, the MAN HAD A TRIPLE CORONARY BYPASS!
I almost fell out of my chair. It's in his genes, he explained to Mark. Well I must suppose. This man is the picture of good exercise and health.
Mark re-hires John for another journey described in the book and John agrees with no pause for his scarred chest. Oh John takes various pills now but he still climbs, he's still hale, he's hardly slowed down. The arterial plaque just piled up a bit too much and it had to be surgically plumbed out.
Sometimes it's just in the genes, says my own quadruple bypassed-self, who also goes about with vim and vigor and hardly a pause. Only I didn't climb mountains before my bypass , no, I was a bit unexercised but go with me, my entire paternal family had coronary bypasses cause sometimes it's just in the genes.
Mark's recount of his expedition to Machu Picchu is informative, at times comical, insightful and very readable.
His speculations as to why certain structures at Machu Picchu are built a certain way are alone good reason to read the book.