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A very old iron chain, bolted into the black granite of Rio de Janeiro’s highest peak, Pico da Tijuca serves as a hand rail. It was laid across this last pitch for the king of Belgium, an avid rock climber, in anticipation of his visit back in the late 1800s. Steps were also hand-chiseled into the steep slope for the king’s convenience, but he disregarded both and galloped up the sheer rock to the summit like a goat.

Published in January

Peru’s fabled city of Machu Picchu, its magnificent ruins perched 8,000 feet above sea level, high in the cloud forest where the Andes meet the Amazon basin, is one of the great mysteries of the world.  Its massive stones fit together flawlessly without mortar, this architectural wonder was built, occupied and abandoned within one hundred years. To this day, no one knows why this extraordinary city, invisible from below, was created and deserted so quickly. Another enigma is how these colossal rocks were carved from the mountain, fit together with such an exactitude and transported.  Dubbed “The Lost City of the Incas,” it was missed by the plundering conquistadors and remained hidden from Western eyes until 1911 when American explorer Hiram Bingham re-discovered it.

Published in October
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