Y2K Parties Banned at Machu Picchu in Peru

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Time to change my party plans.


[Fair use/educational purposes]

LIMA  Peru's government said Thursday it had ordered the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu to be closed over New Year's to protect one of South America's most important archeological sites from thousands of millennium revelers.

Authorities expected tourists to try and pass New Year's Eve at the mystical ruins, which are perched on the saddle of a mountain about 7,700 feet (2,300 meters) above sea level in Peru's southern Andes.

The protection of Machu Picchu is a major concern among environmental groups, who say rising tourism is damaging the ruins which consist of an Inca compound of huge stone slabs, temples and sun dials surrounded by thick jungle.

Authorities will close on Dec. 31 the citadel to tourists while the well-known Inca Trail, a hiking route which every year attracts thousands of backpackers from the nearby historic town of Cusco, will be shut for four days before the New Year.

Machu Picchu is believed to have been built in the 14th or 15th Century and was abandoned at the time of the Spanish conquest. In 1911, U.S. archeologist Hiram Bingham discovered the ruins, which historians believe was an important religious center for the pre-Columbian Inca empire.

-- Steve (hartsman@ticon.net), December 18, 1999


Me, too!

Instead of some good ol' blood sacrifice, I guess I'll have to tame it down, so I'll be at Stonehenge, safely away from the estimated 3.5 million that are expected in London's center on Dec. 31.

You'll be able to pick me out. I'll be dressed as a Druid high priest.

-- profit of doom (doom@helltopay.ca), December 18, 1999.

I've always wanted to visit Machu Picchu.............................

-- (karlacalif@aol.com), December 18, 1999.

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