In 2005 while traveling in Peru through the Sacred Valley of the Incas we stopped, in accordance with the itinerary i had drawn up weeks before, at the shores of the Ollantaytambo River and prepared to trek to the top of the mountain where the Incan Temple of the Sun remains to this day.
As if it happened yesterday, i see a man in a blue serge suit, brown shoes covered with dust, white shirt and tie approaching me with a serious, almost desperate expression on his face. He called to me, "Senora, I must speak to you!" Aaahh, that is often how it begins...but this time i was dogged by a guide and group who were eager to start climbing and did not want to be stopped by someone they believed to either be a beggar or peddler. He had a book in his hand and pushed it toward me, but as I said, i wasn't able to do as i wished without causing trouble, thus destroying any pricacy we might have.
So the group got to the top and i recovered enough to start taking pictures of the valley and mountains opposite where we stood. Our guide ran on about the Temple remains as i wandered away to his dismay. I was intrigued with what i saw opposite and took some video footage, thinking i would examine it later (I have never looked at the footage to date) to see whatever was there just beyond my view. By the time we got to the bottom of the terraced mountain and met up with those who did not make the trek, some time had passed, but the anxious man was waiting for me.
We walked slowly as he talked to me in very excited and thrilled terms about what these mountains represent, but we could barely shake hands on it when my guide insisted I move on. He was fairly irate...to put it mildly...The man gave me the book he held and said it was a gift, but i gave him $10 toward the printing costs...After all i know how expensive that is! His name was Fernando Elorrieta Salazar and the book, as you have guessed, is "Cusco and the Sacred Valley of the Incas"... You got a glimpse or two of him in the video two days ago. Oh, yes, our guide proceeded to mock me and Fernando's crazy theories all the way to the train station...grabbing the book and roughly handling it...little did he know that today it goes for $40 on Amazon!
This guide did a great job of getting me to Machu Piccu and fulfilling his contract...I was standing directly behind the ancient sun dial on June 21, 2005 as the sun crept over the mountain and streaked across the valley and through the window and onto the sun dial indicating it was the solstice! Too bad he had no idea what was really going on all around him then...but then again, no one there was aware of it either. :)