Alice Groth (from left), Otto Ringle and Suzanne Pfau were recently in Peru to climb Machu Picchu.

The brother-sister pair of Suzanne (Ringle) Pfau and Otto Ringle, and their friend Alice Groth, recently returned from a visit to Machu Picchu, an Incan archaeological site in Peru, South America.

The site holds the ruins of buildings constructed in the 1400s, and is located about 12,000 feet high in the Andes Mountains, about 50 miles from Cusco, the former Inca capital.

Despite their many years, Alice and Suzanne were fortunate enough to be able to observe the homes of the Incan royalty, while 88 year-old Otto had to be content with nursing a tank of oxygen, because of the intense elevation.

Nevertheless, he was still able to observe the houses of the farmers, weavers and servants who worked for the royal family at only a few feet below. The rock construction so many years ago without mechanical assistance is unbelievable.

Construction of Machu Picchu began about 1438, when Incan ruler, “Pachacuti” defeated enemy tribes in the region. Machu Picchu, however, was abandoned when the Spanish Conquistadores began their conquest of the Inca in 1532.

The archaeological importance of the magnificent and unbelievable site was first recognized in 1911, when American explorer Hiram Bingham visited the site. Today, Peru’s government now sponsors research and reconstruction there, and the site has become Peru’s primary tourist attraction.

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