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Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering…
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Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time (edition 2012)

by Mark Adams

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4372024,058 (3.75)27
Member:manatree
Title:Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time
Authors:Mark Adams
Info:Plume (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Donated to Degenstein Library Book sale, Your library, books read: total, no longer owned, Read but unowned
Rating:*****
Tags:Book, travel, history, Cultural property -- Protection -- Peru -- Machu Picchu Site, Adams; Mark; 1967- -- Travel -- Peru -- Machu Picchu Site, Bingham; Hiram; 1875-1956, Machu Picchu Site (Peru), softcover, Otto's Bookstore

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Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time by Mark Adams

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Mark Adams spent some time in Peru following in the footsteps (more or less) of Hiram Bingham III, the "discoverer" of the ruins of Machu Picchu. (You kind of have to put the scare quotes around "discoverer," given that there were actually people living there at the time. Not that his expedition wasn't still an impressive feat.) Adams intersperses his account of his own travels with a lot of details about Bingham's life and work, as well as a little bit of Incan history. It's interesting (and very bloody) history, and Adams certainly makes it sound like a marvelous place to visit in person. But, I have to say, my initial reaction to his writing is that while it was perfectly OK, and even featured a few nice, snappy metaphors, it wasn't exactly the liveliest travelog I'd ever read, and the Bingham chapters could actually get a little bit dull. I did like it better as it went along, though, and I suspect the book's failure to grip me quite as much as I would have liked may have had more to do with my mood than with Adams' prose. It is entirely too bad, though, that the photo section is all black-and-white, as it seems like the sights he's describing are definitely ones that deserve to be seen in color. ( )
  bragan | Mar 3, 2015 |
My friend had some books she was giving away and this one seemed interesting. After several weeks of not wanting to pick it back up and seeing it just sit there on my Good Reads currently reading list I had to just give up on it. I enjoyed it when I was reading it most of the time but I found going back into the history so much became boring to me. I learned things I did not know and wish I could have stuck with it but I have way to many other books to read. If you like travel books, a lot of history and do not have a pile of books staring you in the face you might enjoy this book. ( )
  theeccentriclady | Jul 28, 2014 |
What a wonderful book. For the person intending to visit the awe inspiring site, to the armchair traveler, this is the real deal! Ably narrated by Andrew Garman, I wholeheartedly recommend listening to the audible version. My one tiny regret is that I could not see how the Quechua language was rendered in print.

There is so much more to the story of Machu Picchu than I ever understood. I almost thought about buying some hiking boots... ( )
  kaulsu | Jul 9, 2014 |
I visited Machu Picchu in my early 20s and ever since, I have been fascinated by its history and its mysteries. I have read several accounts of Hiram Bingham III's life and his "discovery" of what many termed the Lost City of the Incas. (We all know that Bingham discovered the archeological site in the same manner that Columbus "discovered" America, as if no indigenous people ever lived in either place.) This book caught my eye at the library because of my prior interest in the subject.

Author Mark Adams worked for several adventure publications, but never engaged in any adventure of his own. But after reading the controversy over whether Bingham, the "discoverer" of Machu Picchu, had stolen important Peruvian artifacts and whether or not Yale was obliged to return them to Peru, he decided to research the matter and follow in Bingham's footsteps.

Adams writes: “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."

The book tells the tale of Adam's physically-demanding trek through Peru with an Australian guide, John Leivers, who seemed to be Hiram Bingham's kindred spirit. Adams interspersed his own story with the history of the Spanish takeover of the Incan Empire and Bingham's own treks through Peru in search of important archeological finds.

Adams has an entertaining writing style that makes this book both an informative and a humorous read. ( )
  TeachArt1 | Mar 12, 2014 |
Adventure writer Mark Adams follows Hiram Bingham's search for Machu Picchu located in the Andes of Peru. Part traveloque, part art history and geography lesson and part comedy, the author's storytelling skills kept me interested in his journey. As a side note, Bingham is no longer seen as a hero and explorer but has been accused of smuggling artifacts out of Peru by the government. Adam's guide is an interesting character who may be basis for the character Indiana Jones. ( )
  Liz_57 | Jul 26, 2013 |
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As the man dressed head to toe in khaki turned the corner and began racewalking uphill in my direction, I had to wonder: had we met before?
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"I know it's a lot to take in," John said. "Any questions so far?"

I could only think of one. "Is this harder than the Inca Trail?"

For a split second, John looked like he didn't understand me. "Mark, this trek is a lot harder than the Inca Trail."
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Traces the author's recreation of Hiram Bingham III's discovery of the ancient citadel, Machu Picchu, in the Andes Mountains of Peru, describing his struggles with rudimentary survival tools and his experiences at the sides of local guides.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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