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DW: From Rio to Lima – Transoceânica, the world’s longest bus journey (4/5)

20/08/2020

From the Amazon to the Andes and all the way up to Machu Picchu, the bus continues its journey through South America on the Transoceânica highway. The mountains mark the most difficult stage of the trip for both drivers and passengers. But the passengers have a large part of the journey behind them now and it won’t be long until they reach Peru. They have crossed Brazil and driven through the Peruvian Amazon basin to the Andes. Here, the endless greenery of the basin gives way to increasingly steep rock faces. The Incas worshipped these mighty mountains as deities and called them Apus – Gods. The road takes us close to one of them: Apu Ausangate, which is 6,384 meters high. The temperature here is much lower than in the Amazon basin. The bus soon reaches Cuzco. For centuries the town was the center of the Inca Empire, until the Spaniards came and burnt it to the ground and built their own palaces on its walls. Today, the city is mainly one thing: a tourist magnet, and the starting point for tours to the legendary ruins of Machu Picchu. The complex is crumbling under the tread of millions of visitors from all over the world, and now the authorities are facing a dilemma: on the one hand, the tourists bring money; on the other the archaeologists want to preserve Machu Picchu for generations to come.

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