FIFTY THOUSAND TROY OUNCES OF PURE GOLD is my rough calculation of the amount of yellow stuff contained in twelve or more life-sized golden statues of Inca emperor-gods and one enormous hanging sun-disc, in a ruined temple somewhere in Perú’s Madre de Dios River province. A few runaway farmhands who made the chance discovery were as panic-stricken as if in the Inca’s own presence, and fled for their lives.
Persons who over the years searched, for the treasure’s sake alone, reaped failure, disappeared, or were found dead (often from snake- bite or a hunting arrow bowed in a jungle so dense that not paths , but passages, join the tribal dwelling-places).
The rather few who studied and explored for the sake of knowledge, wisdom and understanding, found many other previously unknown remains of small towns, and rockcarvings and paintings, and sometimes were able to test and confirm pre-incan mythology.
Some including the author, had truly mysterious experiences and even eerie parapsychological “explanations” as to how, even with the help of satellite photography, the legendary city of Paititi seems to remain protected from discovery.
In this book, my friend Fernando relates his exciting true experiences and explains some of his archaeological discoveries made mostly on the East (amazonian) side of the peruvian Andes. Indeed, I found the translation a fascinating task.
Fernando, a devoted explorer, has been frightened a few times, in danger of death much more often, both from nature and people; yet it is obvious that he has tremendously enjoyed both the physical and intellectual aspects of his activities as researcher, part-time University instructor, and participant in adventures of the body, mind and spirit: in this book he shares all three with you.
In the English of 1440 the word “translation” meant to move from one place to another; my job has meant moving the author’s personal experiences from Perú to an English-speaking world that no longer uses that thee-and-thou speech which reflects specially close humans-to-nature relations. For that reason, this book is “careless” in that it allows more than a few hispanicisms in the hope that it will help thee, dear reader, to live-a-little in Fernando’s shoes, and to finish the book thinking to thyself “I FELT I WAS THERE!” Have thee fun!