Valverde's Gold: In Search of the Last Great Inca Treasure
When Mark Honigsbaum discovers an ancient Spanish treasure guide buried in his research notebooks, he cannot help but be drawn into the legend of Valverde, a conquistador with a treasure trail that has proven fatal for the past 400 years. Undeterred by the cursed history of the gold, Honigsbaum embarks on an epic journey into the last uncharted range in the Andes--the Llan...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published October 1st 2005 by Picador
(first published August 18th 2004)
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Few topics fascinate me more than the Inca Empire, so when I found out about this account of a hunt for Atahualpa’s gold, I had to read it. Unfortunately, this is not the first time I have come upon a book about an engrossing subject with only the subject matter to hold my interest. Perhaps the fault is mine, as I don’t often read nonfiction, but when I’m reading a book that promises a riveting story, I guess I’m looking for something, well…riveting. I believe that Honigsbaum did have a fascinat...more
The Llanganati mountain range is a strange extension of the Andes in Ecuador that heads East into the Amazon basin. It is very different from the rest of the Andes, both geologically and biologically, and there is much mythology about the area. The most persistent myth is that at the time of the conquest, the gold treasures of the Inca empire from Quito were taken into the Llanganati mountains and hidden in a secret cave. Many, many expeditions have gone looking for this gold, based on many a bo...more
This was a very interesting book. I'm always up for a good treasure hunt, and this delivered in several ways. But Honigsbaum's tone can be quite dry and focus on very tiny things that don't always matter in the big picture. However, it gave a really nice take on the jungle and the perils of traversing it.