In The Footsteps of Atahualpa (The Informed Visitors Guide)

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The whole was mysteriously abandoned. Bingham is lauded as the leader of a group that uncovered what supposedly no one had seen since it was abandoned by its builders. He raided the Inca cupboard, taking his best finds - small bronzes, a few pots, two carved stone containers, silver shawl pins and a copper bracelet - and boxes of bones back to Yale, where they lie to this day, despite attempts by Peruvian leaders to lure them back to rest rightfullly with the other ruins.

However, he was not the first to filch the fascinating findings. Carlos Carcelen, a Peruvian historian, whose search through maps, letters and long-lost documents, suggests a German named Augusto R, Berns boasted about finding the site in and he also carted away cases of artifacts. No one really knows for sure, what motivated men to cut, carve, carry on their strong backs and fit-fast each piece of this great puzzle. The mystery of this human history on a hillside remains the secret of the centuries, a cliffhanger in fact and fantasy.

There is only one certainty to this rocky riddle. Trial by Trail photo by G. Wilson Foot loose? Wilson Well-worn stone steps to Picchu place photo by G. Wilson Exhausted but exhilarated Geri claims the prize on high - sights few saw.

Machu Picchu. Eastern Urban Sector photo by G. Wilson Western Terraces photo by G. Wilson Machu Picchu photo by G. Wilson Agricultural Terraces photo by G. Wilson Temple of the Sun - Solstice rays radiate through the window.

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Wilson Sun Temple built to follow the curve of the natural rock. Wilson Royal Mausoleum under the Sun Temple. Wilson Intihuatana "Where the sun is tied up" photo by G. Wilson On the top of the pyramid, the Inca chief would sit, clothed in gold to reflect the rising sun, a religious rite to stop the sun from disappearing or at least ensure its return. Wilson Three skycraping peaks were called important apus mountain gods in Inca cosmology.

Condors that soared over these mountains were traditionally believed to be apus that had transformed into animals. The name of the temple comes from the shape of the rock, which suggests a condor with spread wings. Temple of the Condor photo by G. Wilson On the floor is the representation the male condor with its white neck, pick and eyes. Wilson Here's the Hut. Looking up at what is called, "The Caretaker's Hut". Wilson View of the mystical sight one last time photo by G. Wilson What goes up Wilson Seen it? The government of Peru was a despotism.

The sovereign was placed at an immeasurable distance above his subjects and even the proudest of the Inca nobility, claiming a descent from the same divine original as himself, could not venture into the royal presence unless barefoot and bearing a token of homage. As the representative of the Sun, the sovereign stood at the head of the priesthood and presided at the most important of the religious festivals.

He raised armies and usually commanded them in person. He imposed taxes, made laws and provided for their execution by the appointment of judges, whom he removed at pleasure. He was the source from which every thing flowed, - all dignity, all power, all emolument. He was "himself the state. Huaina Capac, all-powerful twelth king of Peru, contrary to the devine law of the Inca Empire, created division that caused chaos in the kingdom. Sons of Huaina Capac Huascar Atahualpa The accounts which Huaina Capac received of white adventurers made a strong impression on his mind.

He discerned in the formidable prowess and weapons of these foreign folk, proof of a civilization far superior to that of his own people. He instinctively feared that they would return and that at some day not far distant, perhaps, the throne of the Incas might be shaken by these strangers endowed with such incomprehensible powers.

To the casual eye, it was a little speck on the verge of the horizon; but to the sagacious monarch, the speck spawned a dark thunder-cloud, that was to expand till it flared in fury on his nation! Faced with the fearsome foe to come, King Huaina unwittingly fostered the failure and downfall of his own kingdom. Huscar, the son of his lawful wife and sister, was his eldest son and as first born, Incan laws of succession dictated that he become sole Inca of the Empire. However, Huaina Capac developed a great fondness for Atahualpa , his second son, a brave, bold, clever, cagey young warrior whose mother was the daughter of the last Scyri of Quito.

The princess was beautiful and the Inca, to gratify his passion, received her among his concubines. Historians of Quito assert that she was his lawful wife; but this dignity, according to the usages of the empire, was reserved for maidens of the Inca blood. The latter years of Huaina Capac were passed in his new kingdom of Quito. Atahuallpa was accordingly brought up under his own eye, accompanied him during his tender years in his campaigns, slept in the same tent with his royal father and ate from the same plate. The vivacity of the boy and his courage won the affections of the old monarch and the fearsome Atahualpa became his father's favourite and closest companion.

Huaina Capac dearly wanted to grant him a lofty leadership role in the Incan Empire and he resolved to depart from the established usages of the realm and divide his empire between him and his elder brother Huscar Huaina Capac discussed this with Huscar, who agreed to his father's request and for the first time ever, the Incan Empire would have divided leadership.

On his death bed, Huaina Capac called his great officers around him and announced the subversion of his empire by the race of white and bearded strangers after the reign of the twelfth Inca. The Supreme Being, the great Pachacamac, was going to send these creatures to earth to punish the guilty Incas. Desptie this dire prediction, Huaina Capac declared that, Huscar would become king of Peru and Atahualpa king of the powerful state of Quito, which rivalled Peru itself in wealth and refinement. This last act of the heroic monarch was undoubtedly the most impolitic of his whole life. With his dying breath he subverted the fundamental laws of the empire and although he recommended harmony between the successors to his authority, he produced in this very division of it the seeds of inevitable discord.

The more thoughtful in both countries dreaded the future faced with an empire with the sceptre, instead of being swayed by an old and experienced hand, consigned to rival princes, each jealous of the other and exposed to the unwholesome influence of crafty and ambitious counsellors. Initially, the wishes of the father for fraternal faithfulness resulted in them maintaining their respective integrity and independence Eventaully, jealousy and discontent and the the counsel of courtly sycophants fomented fighting.

Huscar was the only party who had grounds for complaint.

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He was four or five years older than his brother and was a prince of a generous and easy nature. If left alone he might have acquiesced in an arrangement, however unpalatable, that would have been the will of his deified father. Atahuallpa was of a different temper. Warlike, ambitious.

His restless spirit excited alarm at the court of Cuzco, and Huscar eventually had to send an envoy to Atahuallpa to remonstrate with him and require him to render Huscar homage for his kingdom of Quito. Solidarity was sacrificed to selfishness and the bloody battles badly divided the kingdom. Atahualpa prevailed. The military might of the empire was wasted, badly weakened and worsened by the whiteman's diseases that completely debilitated the Inca's capacity to cope with the conquistadors, who arrived in the spring of In Pizarro was selected with another cavalier named Morales to cross the isthmus and traffic with the natives on the shores of the Pacific.

While engaged in getting gold and pearls from the neighbouring islands, his restless eyes ranged along the shadowy coastline that faded into the distance. His imagination was fired with the fancy of one day meeting and mastering the mysterious masses taht occupied those regions beyond the mountains.

His efforts resulted in him overcoming the tribes of Veragua, but his victories brought him glory but no gold. At the age of fifty, captain Pizarro found himself in possession a tract of unhealthy land and little else. It was at this time the magnificent achievements of Cortes became known to the public and they inspired Pizarro to pursue the same fame and fortune. His dreams resulted in lots of loot and a name as a noted conquistador. Pizarro's little vessel entered the river Biru. They anchored after sailing up this stream for a couple of leagues.

Pizarro disembarked his whole force except the sailors and proceeded to explore the country. The land spread out into a vast swamp, where the heavy rains had settled in pools of stagnant water, and the muddy soil afforded no footing to the traveller.

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This dismal morass was fringed with woods whose thick and tangled undergrowth they found difficult to penetrate. They came out on a hilly country, so rough and rocky that their feet were cut to the bone, and weary soldiers, encumbered with heavy mail or thick-padded doublet of cotton, found it difficult to drag one foot after the other.

The heat was oppressive and fainting with toil and famished for f food, they sank down on the earth from mere exhaustion. Pizarro did not lose heart and endeavoured to revive the spirits of his men, by reminding them of golden prize they were pursuing. It was obvious that nothing was to be gained by remaining longer in this desolate region, so they returned to their vessel and sailed along the southern course on the great ocean. From the Indians of Tumbez, Pizarro learned that the country had been for some time distracted by a civil war between two sons of the late monarch, competitors for the throne.

This intelligence he took as important, for he remembered the use which Cortes had made of similar dissensions among the tribes of Anahuac. Pizarro seems to have had the example of his great predecessor before his eyes on more than one occasion. He felt far short of his model,however.

Definite details about what actually happened have long hassled historians and the following represents a composite account of what might have occurred. Thanks to his chasqui messengers , the king was well aware that the Spanish were in his kingdom. He was still preening and preoccupied with his victory over his brother and failed to fully fear the father of fate they were about to face.

In fact, he fully expected to conquer the conquistadors and after easily defeating them, he planned on breeding the creatures they rode and ridding the country of their riders by sacrificing them to the Sun god. He prepared now to meet and master their leader. The Spaniards had been received kindly by the kinfolk of the city and offered food and drink.

The natives were fascinated by the creatures they rode and took them for heavenly beasts that were continuously biting on their bits. Concluding this was some kind of food, they hastened to fill feed-troughs with bars of gold and silver ore, but they also encouraged them to, "Leave your iron aside and eat this fodder for the food is much better. Francisco Pizarro, whose shrewdness was exceeded only by his ruthlessness, awaited the arrival of Atahualpa on the afternoon of 16 November An insatiable thirst for conquest and money motivated the man and nothing discouraged or exhausted him or the men he led.

His sparce Spanish force had marched great distances the previous day and few had slept in anticipation of the confrontation to come. Entrance fee is 5s. Also in Otuzco is a small hanging bridge Puente Colgante. It was kind of charming. It is the site of rock formations. Alas, another day trip from Cajamarca. Llacanora is the site of Cataratas de Llacanora quechua for waterfalls of Llacanora. The hike was pleasant and, if you have the stamina, climb to the final vista above the final waterfall to over look the valley and relax before retracing your steps back.

Located just up the hill from the Plaza de Armas in Cajamarca is a blue and white cathedral atop a medium-sized staircase. Pay the 1s entrance fee to wander through a quaint garden and climb to the highest point in the city.

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There you will be treated to a beautiful view of the city. It was so nice meeting you in the Galapagos. Good luck to you on the rest of your travels! What to See and Do in Rio de… August 12, Galapagos on a Budget February 7, Ecuador Photo Gallery January 23, Iceland Without the Crowds? Try Venturing Outside Reykjavik December 29, How to Travel to Iceland on a Budget October 25, Video Diary of Iceland October 23, Feminist in Morocco August 12, How to do a Self-Guided Tour of the… July 2, Is it Safe to Travel in Morocco as… June 26, Morocco Photo Gallery June 20, Two Days in Colca Canyon April 6, What to Do in Ica, Peru March 8, Sandboarding in Huachachina, Peru March 6, Booking the trip The Inca Trail can only be done with a registered tour operator or guide.

The list of registered operators can be found online www. This includes train tickets, trail permits, food, accommodation, and a guide. Tours must be booked at least six months in advance since spots sell out fast. Trail permits are needed for the trek and only around are given out to visitors each day additional permits are issued to staff who assist.

Availability can be checked on the government website www. Getting there There are no direct flights from India to Peru. The approximate time of the journey is 30 hours. Confluence of Cultures The Turkish city of Kars is famous for its freezing climate and bitter battles. The ruins of Ani are surrounded by the remote landscape of the Turkish steppe. In its heyday Ani was a metropolis, which rivalled Constantinople, Cairo, or Baghdad as a centre of culture and enterprise, but it has been a ghost site for the past years or so.

They are aided by a blizzard that cuts off all outside contact. The town, in northeastern Turkey, is a particularly apt location for the action. Turkish friends were always surprised when I told them I wanted to travel to Kars. The town has the reputation for being a distant, forgotten place. Undeterred, a friend and I finally made a trip in June, when the worst of the cold had dissipated. As we drove through the broad roads, I noticed that the freshly green hills still had dustings of snow on their peaks.

We first made our way to Ani, some 30 kilometres away from the city centre. Ani was initially excavated by Russian archaeologists in but once these evocative ruins became a part of Turkey, their location on the hostile border between Turkey and the USSR now in Armenia resulted in their being placed in an inaccessible military. The area around Kars is largely agricultural—farming, cheesemaking, and honey production still provide jobs to a large number of people. My imagination was captured both by the grotesque image of frozen soldiers and the attraction of visiting a town located at the confluence of empires and cultures: Armenian, Seljuk, Georgian, Mongol, Ottoman, Russian, Turkish.

During the medieval period, Kars was an important centre for various Armenian dynasties. As a result, the area is rich in beautiful Armenian monuments. Nearby is the windswept and atmospheric site of Ani, which served as the capital of the Armenian Bagrutani kingdom but was slowly destroyed by raids, conquests, and earthquakes. Though I was taken in by the image of extreme snow, I actually have only a minimal tolerance for the cold. After my studies, I got a job in Turkey, increasing the odds of my being able to visit the town when the.

Kars is located at the confluence of Armenian, Seljuk, Georgian, Mongol, Ottoman, Russian, and Turkish cultures and the influences are visible among its people, homes, and monuments. At one street corner, a building of bubble-gum pink concrete hulked over a classical Russian building. The iconic sight of Kars is the stern castle on a hill that overlooks it.

That Sunday, families picnicked in the castle, drinking tea and playing backgammon. The view from the castle was stunning. Down below, the Armenian Church of the Apostles, which was converted into a mosque in , stood out in sharp relief against the rest of the town. We had timed our visit well. We spent our last afternoon sampling cheese.

I went to a store to buy some of the gravyer that I had first tasted and come to love in Istanbul. The shopkeeper told me that I had to return to Kars in the winter to really get a feel of the place. When the snow melts away in the summer, tourists visit Kars to take the Honey Road, locally called the Balyolu. During the trail, travellers follow the footsteps of nomadic herders, visiting numerous small villages, harvesting and tasting fresh, artisanal honey at every stop. Now, even though visitors no longer require official permission to travel to Ani, an air of neglect persists.

There is still no public transport to the site. Our first view of Ani was magnificent. Great wrecks of buildings were adrift on a sea of green. The visit was edifying because it brought into sharp focus the manner in which Turkey tries to ignore the uncomfortable pieces of its past. Though over a million Armenians were massacred in Turkey in and the Armenian community was driven out of Kars when Turkish forces took over in , Ankara continues to resist international efforts to describe the killings as genocide.

But the need for funds is obviously tempered by knowledge that visitors would have to be told about the strong Armenian influence on this part of Turkey. An ingenious solution has been found. In the citadel, the official notice boards focussed on Ani as a town that flourished under the Seljuks, a Turko-Persian dynasty from the medieval ages. The pointed domes, tetraconch plans, and tall arches of the cathedrals and churches were obviously Armenian, as were the innumerable inscriptions in the Armenian script.

Making our way back to Kars was like to coming back to modernday reality from a dream. Exploring the city, I thought that Kars could have been any other small Turkish town if not for some rather affecting Baltic-style architectural remnants of Russian rule in the late s. Gravyer top right was introduced to the country from Switzerland via Russia and quickly became popular; Completed in , the church of St.

Gregory bottom in Ani was commissioned by a wealthy Armenian merchant. It is known for its ornate frescoes and stone carvings of real and imaginary animals. At around 1, m above sea level, it is the highest city in Turkey. Kars is around 1, km west of Istanbul, and 1, km west of the Turkish capital, Ankara. The Armenian border is just 75 km to the west. The flight takes a little under 7 hours. Flights to Kars are easily available from Istanbul 3 hours. Alternatively, travellers on a budget can take a daily train that departs from Istanbul early in the morning and arrives at Kars the following night.

The journey is scenic, but rather slow, lasting close to 38 hours. A car is required to explore the surrounding mountains. Sightseeing taxis can be organised through hotels, and car rentals are an option for travellers with an international driving licence. Indian travellers to Turkey require a visa. For a complete list of documents and visa requirements, visit www. A visa on arrival is available to Indian travellers with a valid Schengen or US visa.

It is said that the region is the birth place of the Caucasian bee, the species with the longest tongue, which can drink nectar from even. The result is an amazing variety of honeys. Shopkeepers are usually happy to offer free tastings and are knowledgeable about their produce.

Talk about a sweet city. Due to its high altitude, winters in Kars are harsh, with cold days and freezing nights. Continuous snowfall carpets the city during this time, especially between Dec-Feb. These months have a fairly mild climate with no real summer heat. The season is brief, with warm and slightly humid days. There is moderate rainfall in May-June, although each month of the year averages days of precipitation. Kent Otel is centrally located in Hapan Mekvii. The Temel Hotel in Yusufpasa has basic, clean rooms for the budget traveller.

Kars Hotel on Ordu Cd. For a while the trail hugs the rocky cliff of the gorge until it suddenly opens up on the lavish vineyards of Boudry.

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At the first sign of good weather, they put on their hiking boots and set off on walks and hikes, making the best of the sunshine and blue skies. Families go on picnics, couples set off to pick mushrooms, and friends challenge each other to a race to the top. A walk through the beautiful Swiss Alps or Jura mountains can be a great way to break the usual sightseeing routine. It may seem daunting to wander into the unknown unassisted, but finding your way through. Switzerland is very easy.

A route map and a pair of legs are all you need to get started. The right walk. Finding where to begin seems the hardest part; even more so in a new country. Since Switzerland is a relatively tiny country, a good walk is seldom too far away. Travellers looking for short day trips close to them can choose from around local routes. Some walks cover cultural landmarks, while others are strolls to panoramic viewpoints, or quiet walks alongside clear rivers.

Once installed, it downloads everything onto your phone, and the information is available offline. Bags can be checked in at any railway station before 7 p. You can also have your bags delivered to a number of hotels across Switzerland, listed on www. Even the smallest Swiss villages tend to have experienced local guides well versed in several languages who can be contacted via hotels or tourist offices. Signposts and markers are plentiful and clear, giving both distances and time required.

Keep a map handy and look out for nearby points of interest. There are a number of camping sites, especially along the regional and national hiking routes, and camping out in the summer is a great idea. December is the wettest month in Sierre top in Valais.

Most of the year, the district enjoys mild weather, perfect for growing grapes and hiking through the vineyards; The summit of Mount Chasseral bottom , one of the highest peaks of the Swiss Jura, is part of a square-kilometre regional nature park. A detailed map of Switzerland, with all hiking, cycling, skating, train, and road routes is available at map. Before fixing on a date to begin your walk, check the weather on www.

Forecasted temperatures and precipitation timings are usually very reliable. Re ad ing th e Signs While walking in the Swiss Alps, look out for signposts to point you in the right direction. Signposts with redand-white striped points indicate a hiking trail, while yellow points denote a leisurely walk. In between signposts, look out for rocks painted with white and red stripes to point you in the right direction. On old-fashioned ranches, farmers tolerate our voyeurism as they fork giant piles of hay and haul stout milk churns cans onto trucks.

With more time we could have ascended Chasseral the highest peak in the Bernese Jura, not far from here. But, I was content to have tasted a slice of rural life on a hike that was very family-friendly. Wine Trail in Valais The canton of Valais At the look-out point of Creux du Van, a semi-circular rock formation, hikers enjoy beautiful views of the valley. A mist still hung over the morning as we followed our guide Arturo on the trail to Lunghin Pass, past open fields with cows keeping lonely sheds company.

Every breath of the sweet, crisp air seemed to refresh me. Arturo stopped every now and then to tell us tales of local folklore and odd bits of geography. The story of Lunghin Pass was somewhat philosophical. Every drop of rain that falls on Lunghin has an equal chance of ending up in one of three bodies of water—the Black Sea, the Rhine, or the Mediterranean.

No one can know where each drop goes; just like life, Arturo reckoned. With the sun directly above us, we were down to t-shirts, trudging through the mountains, passing more glittering lakes Sils and Silvaplana that wore the deepest shades of emerald. As we rounded Sils, a little group of houses seemingly in the middle of nowhere, came into view. Something about them was oddly familiar. It turned out, that was once the village where a production of Heidi had been filmed. The cobbled paths were now.

An hour of blue skies and downhill roads later, Lake Silvaplana announced itself from between the trees, and just like that, our walk was almost over. A day in the Jura While the towering Swiss Alps dominate south and central Switzerland I decided to go to the lesserknown Jura Mountains in the west, on the border with France, a region of lakes, waterfalls, and rich forests.

The Jura Crest Trail runs almost all the way from Generva to Zurich, but with only one spare day on my Swiss holiday I decide to hike a small section of it. Our walk starts near the mountain pass of La Tourne. We climb uphill, the trail offering alternate views of haze and superb panoramas of lakes with the wall of snow-capped Swiss Alps beyond it. But more than the views, for me the exciting part of this walk is the close-up view of life on working Swiss farms.

We walk along ridges, through high alpine pastures accompanied by the sweet music of cowbells and pass hundreds of cows contentedly grazing. I even stop to taste the. The favourite wine of the area is the locally-grown sweet and fresh Fendant without which no celebration is possible in these parts. The best way to get a sense of this sunny region in southwest Switzerland, where one half speaks French and the other German, is to sign up for a wine trail through vineyards that sprawl down steep terrace-farmed hillsides.

Narrow paths meander up and down past 50 varieties of neatly labelled vines. The water is pleasantly cold when I plunge my hand in.

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Little white butterflies crisscross the path, and each turn holds the promise of another grand vista. The trail is well marked and can easily be done without a guide. Signboards give interesting details about the process of wine-making, life in the vineyards, and titbits about the area. It was just enough walking to make me feel a little less guilty when I sat down to eat raclette for dinner—a favourite meal of Valaisians comprising five courses of melted cheese, eaten with gherkins, pickled white onions, and small boiled potatoes, washed down with many glasses of cold Fendant.

Every cow is fitted with a bell, not just to ensure it does not get lost, but also according to tradition, to ward off evil spirits. In the mids, the Asafi Mosque in the Bara Imambara complex, was occupied by British soldiers for close to 30 years. It was restored as a house of worship in and has remained so ever since. It holds an air of mystery that few other cities possess, elegantly juxtaposing the haunting and the serene qualities of India. The maze is said to have been created by accident in order to support the weight of the heavy roof of this building, which was built by the reigning Nawab atop a marsh in But accident or not, this labyrinth is very real.

Legend has it that a blocked tunnel inside was built to lead directly to the Gomti River. More than a few gentlemen stand around waiting to help visitors along with. On the roof of the Bara Imambara, the horizon opens up, revealing the pointed minarets of the Asafi Mosque, also on the grounds.

The Chota Imambara lacks the mystical aura of its larger brother but makes up for it in beauty. A fountain leads to the building with its gilded dome and interior decked out with chandeliers. Within the same complex are two mausoleums that are replicas of the Taj Mahal. Both Imambaras were built as food-for-work projects during times of famine. The Nawabs paid labourers with cooked meals. Just a short walk from the Imambaras is the staggering Rumi Darwaza no admission fee. The foot structure has become the de facto symbol of Lucknow. Haunting and gorgeous, it is a great example of 18th-century Awadhi architecture.

Not far to the east is the Hussainabad Clock Tower a Victorian structure built a century later. Stirring Sights Built in , The Residency 2. In , during the Indian uprising, it became the site of a bloody battle. Roughly 2, graves of those who died defending the British Empire. Much of it was damaged by the British after the uprising of , but weddings and mushairahs are often held in the remaining halls.

A rare cross-pollination between Italian and Mughal architecture, the gorgeous building is the home of one of U. Though visitors are not allowed inside, it is still worth the trip to view the building through its gates. A little to the south lies Dilkusha Palace, now in ruins, but once a hunting lodge, built in a mix of English and Awadhi styles. The humble and intimate side of Lucknow continues to thrive in the recently renovated shopping district of Hazratganj 5 km southeast of Imambaras. Street-side chaat stands now boast that they use bottled water, and kebab stalls have a warm, inviting character.

In The Footsteps of Atahualpa (The Informed Visitors Guide) In The Footsteps of Atahualpa (The Informed Visitors Guide)
In The Footsteps of Atahualpa (The Informed Visitors Guide) In The Footsteps of Atahualpa (The Informed Visitors Guide)
In The Footsteps of Atahualpa (The Informed Visitors Guide) In The Footsteps of Atahualpa (The Informed Visitors Guide)
In The Footsteps of Atahualpa (The Informed Visitors Guide) In The Footsteps of Atahualpa (The Informed Visitors Guide)
In The Footsteps of Atahualpa (The Informed Visitors Guide) In The Footsteps of Atahualpa (The Informed Visitors Guide)
In The Footsteps of Atahualpa (The Informed Visitors Guide) In The Footsteps of Atahualpa (The Informed Visitors Guide)
In The Footsteps of Atahualpa (The Informed Visitors Guide) In The Footsteps of Atahualpa (The Informed Visitors Guide)

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