Have you ever wanted to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, or the stairs at Machu Picchu? The world is full of fascinating places, and the Nashua Public Library is bringing these exotic destinations right to your fingertips.
The Exotic Destinations program features a presentation about a new place or accomplishment each Thursday at the Nashua Public Library.
“We always found that travel is a topic that draws a lot of people,” said Carol Eyman, outreach and community services coordinator. “Travel and hiking and archeology are big topics. This was a way to pull it all together with a common theme.”
The library did the program a couple years ago and featured presentations about haunted lighthouses in New England, climbing Mt. Everest, traveling to China and a man who rode his motorcycle all the way to Argentina.
Eyman meets with other librarians often to create good programs at the library. Most of the presenters come from recommendations.
“I like programs that are educational but fun,” Eyman said. “With Mt. Kilimanjaro, he tells you about the climb, but talks about the different climates that he went through and really focuses on that.”
Bryan and Linda Higgs traveled to Machu Picchu a few years ago. Machu Picchu, the ancient ruins of the Incas, sits high in the Peruvian Andes of Peru. The Higgs will take listeners through a virtual tour of their vacation to help them understand the site’s history, see local craft-making, such as pottery and weaving, and visit the ancient capital of Cusco.
“It had always been a bucket list item for me,” Bryan Higg said. “To me, it was just so mysterious.”
Though it took some travel time to get into Machu Picchu since there are no roads to it, it was well worth it for the Higgs. After taking a bus into the sacred valley of the Incas, the Higgs were able to learn about the culture. From there, the only way up to Machu Picchu was a narrow gauge railway ride or a hike on the Inca trail. The Higgs chose the comfort of the railway ride.
“My expectations were high for Machu Picchu, so I figured I’d be disappointed after seeing it,” Higg said. “But it was just the opposite. It was just such a magical experience.”
They arrived early in the morning to walk around the ruins.
“It was a good time to go there,” Higg said. “It is so amazing in so many ways.”
The Higgs were able to learn a lot about history on their trip as well. According to Bryan Higgs, Inca is the term used for the emperor of the empire. The people actually refer to themselves as Quechua.
“One of the things that’s amazing is that the Quechua people had no written language,” Higg said. “The stonework was amazing, these large pieces of rock that fit so well together that you couldn’t put a credit card through them. They were very good at masonry.”
The Higgs will present a DVD of their trip for their presentation at the Nashua Library to convey what their trip was like.
Bryan and Linda Higgs will talk about their trip to Machu Picchu on Thursday, Jan. 16, at 7 p.m.
The library will also host “Biking Around the World” with cyclist Denis Beaudry on Thursday, Jan. 9. Beaudry traveled 9,623 miles on his bicycle over the course of 121 days and will share his stories and photos of the many cultures and geography he experienced throughout his trip.
“Kilimanjaro: Journey to the Roof of Africa” will be held Thursday, Jan. 23, with wildlife and adventure photographer Peter Christoph. Christoph will showcase his photography through five different climate zones, from tropical rain forest to arctic conditions, as he hiked up the tallest mountain in Africa. “Insiders Guide to Russia” will be held on Thursday, Jan. 30, with a presentation about traveling to Russia.
The presentations are free and open to the public.
As seen in the January 9th, 2014 issue of The Hippo