Engineers are planning to build a cable car system u the steep, jungle-clad mountain near Machu Picchu, Peru, to ferry visitors to the lost city of the Incas which was discovered just 60 years ago.
AERIAL VIEW of Andes
GV PAN FROM Mountain TO town of Cuzco
Old Inca priest playing string instrument and singing
GVs Remains of temple in Cuzco (3 shots)
GVs Walls surrounding temple (3 shots)
TRAVEL SHOTS Inca Highlands with people working in fields among herds of llamas (2 shots)
GVs Snow-capped mountains
GV Women rowing boats on Lake Titicaca
SV Indian women hiding from camera PAN TO foodstuff
SV Children playing near huts and GV of village (2 shots)
GV Church in Cuzco ZOOM TO foundation stone
SV Entrance to church and PAN TO people in street (2 shots)
SV Old man carrying belonging and woman walking in street (2 shots)
GV People at open market in Cuzco (2 shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Engineers are planning to build a cable car system u the steep, jungle-clad mountain near Machu Picchu, Peru, to ferry visitors to the lost city of the Incas which was discovered just 60 years ago.
SYNOPSIS: There is no road to stone-hewn Machu Piccu. The city is perched high above a george in the Urubamba River with towering Andean peaks to the west and jungle hills to the east. Today, the visitor takes a special train from Cuzco. 112 kilometres (70 miles) to the south. He is then sped by bus up a perilous zig-zag road. Because of the possible dangers in such a trip, many visitors remain in and around Cuzco for their exposure to Inca civilisation.
The Icas originally settled in the valleys of Huatanay and Tullumayo. In the early 1400's, they had pushed outwards from Cuzco, laying the basis for an empire whose spine was the Cordillera of the Andes. Less than 100 years later, just before the Spaniards landed on the coast of Peru, the Inca empire stretched the entire area from Colombia in the north to Chile and Argentina in the South. At its peak, the empire covered almost one million square kilometres (375,000 square miles) with a population of about seven million. The Inca economy was based on a highly profitable agricultural system under which some 50 kinds of vegetables were grown. The staple diet was tubers and cereals, particularly maize. But the Incas became the first people in Central and South America to raise alpacas and llamas, basically pack animals but which also provided wool, food and hides.
Although Cuzco and Machu Picchu are far more exciting and romantic places once you get there, many would-be visitors to Peru dream of spending a lazy afternoon in a canoe on Lake Titicaca high up in the Andes. But for the natives of the area, life is no more romantic than simply getting on with the daily household chores.
The cities built by the Incash testify to the vigour of their civilisation. But few were able to withstand the might of the conquistadors. The Spanish historian, Pedro de Cieza de Leon, referred to the class and quality of the Inca capital of Cuzco in the mid-sixteenth century. Today, the casual observer will see little outward signs of that class and quality. Instead, he will find Cuzco just another average Peruvian town with its people going about the business of day-to-day living surrounded by the ruins of the antique greatness of their ancestors.