The walk along Qhapaq Ñan Inca paths from Cusco to Machu Picchu – the second expedition of the project Before It Is Gone
LOCATION: Cordillera Vilcabamba – Perú
PARTICIPANTS: Mateusz Waligóra, Michał Dzikowski, Wilfredo Gibaja, Richard Calderon, Edwin
TRANSPORTATION: on foot across the Andes
In May of 2017 along with a photographer, Michał Dzikowski, we set out to Peru to carry on with the project Before It Is Gone. Our expedition started in Cusco – the symbolic beginning of all the roads in the Inca state, Tahuantisuyu. Then, accompanied by Wilfredo (Quechuan language interpreter), Richard and Edwin (arrieros), and three horses and one mule we reached the area of the holy mountain, Salkantay, and then the legendary city of Machu Pichu. We walked the Qhapaq Ñan paths, none of which are catalogued or registered. During 10 days of marching we made 250 kilometres, crossing 16 passes whose height exceeds 4200 metres a.s.l. The fruit of the expedition was a reportage published by National Geographic Traveler and series of interviews for the radio, press and TV focused on the issue of the melting of tropical glaciers of the Andes. 70% of the world’s tropical glaciers are located in Peru. But within 40 years their surface area has shrunk by 40%! The main goal of the expedition was to document the impact of this change on the lives of the local peoples.
Patronage: Patron of Honour: Polish Embassy in Lima and Peruvian Embassy in Warsaw, National Geographic Polska, National Geographic Latinoamerica.
Sponsors: Victorinox, Rab, Lenovo, Meindl, Leki, DJI, MSR, Sea To Summit, Manfrotto, Belmond, Wild Willy, Zmiany Zmiany
ABOUT THE PROJECT BEFORE IT IS GONE:
In the beginning of 2017 along with Michał Dzikowski, photographer, we started a series of three journalist expeditions called Before it is gone. The goal of this project is to document places and cultures that are going through irreversible changes. Not those that changed in the past or will change one day – those that are changing NOW. We are interested in all types changes: social and cultural, connected to environment degradation and the impact of man on the nature. We set out not to discover something that was discovered a long time ago or to save something that has long been doomed. We go places to listen to people’s stories and then pass those stories on. We want to document changes with the best use of our experience in journalist and photography. But we have to hurry to make it. Before they are gone.