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Land of the Incas Retains Wild Charm
j^ODERN civilization has touched little of the picturesque beauty of Peru's wilderness and coastline, discovered four centuries ago by Pizarro- A land of violent contrasts, arid deserts and unbearable tropic heat within sight of towering peaks snow-capped throughout the year, it has modern cities nestled near green, lush valleys where natives work primitive farms much as they did when Pizarro found them. These pictures, conveying much of the natural life and beauty of this strange land, its seal herds, its flocks of guano birds, were made by W. 0. Runcie in company with Hans Hinrichs, New York sportsman, who recently returned from a big-game fishing expedition to Peru. These giant Peruvian cactus plants are weather stations for Peruvian natives, especially fishermen. By changing depth of shadows they foretell changes in the weather. Gannetts, the guano birds of Peru, return every year by the myriad to nest on the same coastal hills ond cliffs. Export of the fertilizer they provide is one of Peru's most important sources of revenue The birds nest on mounds of soil hollowed out just enough to hold the eggs Much of the Peruvian coast rises in a rugged, high table of rock, weird in its formations, and its feet lapped by the sea. Almost in the shadow of the cliffs is the feeding ground of great swordfish and marlin, recently discovered by ad venturing anglers. flilf-'- ** ; A variety of birds and native chil dren mingle on the beach at Cabo £ Blanco. The pelicans, buzzards and I’ gulls pay little attention to the peon ■ youngsters at play. It's a coast of j alternate wide beaches and desolate f headlands. ... >r' Llamas, the Peruvian beasts of burden, rest with their herder at the ruins of the Incaic fortress of Sacsahuaman, former abode of the Inca chief, Huayana Coapac. t ' \ Along the rock-bound coast are breeding grounds for great seal herds. These lumbering mem bers of one of the colonies pay little attention to the cameraman as he takes this close-up. s A relative of the llama and much like it in appearance is the vicuna. But, unlike the llama, it produces fine wool. Note the difference in coloring in this herd of vicunas, a faVniliar sight in the grassy tablelands of the Peruvian highlands.