Q’eswachaka: the last Inca suspension bridge

Each year, in a remote corner of the Peruvian Andes, four Quechua communities renew a five-century-old bridge
During the time of the Incas there was a great network of roads called “Camino Real” to unite the Inca empire. However, due to its rugged geography many places were joined by suspension bridges made of vegetable fiber.

The Qeshuachaca is the only bridge that has been renovated from generation to generation by the families of Cusco until today. The bridge is located in the department of Cusco, over the Apurimac River at 3,700 m.a.s.l. About a thousand people from different communities, near the bridge, meet for four days to renew it.
Now, we will know the four days of tradition that delays the reconstruction of Queshuachaca:
On the first day, the inhabitants of the communities leave in search of a solid straw of vegetable fiber called Ichu in Quechua. Once the necessary amount of Ichu has been collected, the women weave this solid straw to form the ropes of the bridge, and the men are responsible for joining the rope from end to end and then braid it.
When the second day arrives, the structure of the old bridge is taken apart, the stone nails that support the bridge are removed, and four ropes are placed that are the base of the structure of the new bridge.
Tired, but with strength, on the third day, the villagers conclude with the assembly of the handrails and the bridge surfaces where the communities will cross.
And finally, on the fourth day, they celebrate the reconstruction of the bridge to the sound of music with native dances, given that the work is considered as a holiday by Peruvian ancestors.
Therefore, if you travel to Cusco do not hesitate to visit this hidden place in the Andes: A destination little known to travelers that evokes amazement and tradition. Do you dare to cross it?

 

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