Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Turn Right at Machu Picchu by Mark Adams

In December, I finished reading Turn Right at Machu Picchu by Mark Adams. I had seen the author talk about the book on the Jon Stewart show and was interested enough to order it. This is the third book that I have read in the last six months that I started reading with low expectations and was pleasantly surprised. The other two were: Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition and Appetite for America.

Turn Right at Machu Picchu is essentially a travelog. The author describes his adventures traveling to Peru, hiking the Inca Trail and exploring a number of Inca ruins, including Machu Picchu.

Woven into his story, the author tells the story of Hiram Bingham. Bingham is credited with discovering Machu Picchu a hundred years ago in 1911. The story provides a nice overview of Bingham's life story and his adventures in Peru.

Within those two story, the author also weaves a third layer: the story of the Incas. Although much more brief than the travelog or Bingham's story, the author includes a enough Inca history to provide some context to the Inca Trail and the ruins.

Written is a light breezy style, I enjoyed the book a great deal. I give it a solid B+ grade. The book whets my appetite to read more about Hiram Bingham and the Incas.

Both Larkin and my sister Lee Ann have been to Machu Picchu. I am not sure where the site falls on my list of places to see in the world. I was very intrigued by the author's description of hiking to Machu Picchu on the Inca Trail rather than taking the train.

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