Vanessa and I visited Machu Picchu yesterday and today; beyond visiting the ruins of the Inca citadel itself, we also climbed the higher of the two surrounding peaks, Montaña Machu Picchu.
While at the top, we sat down to rest and enjoy the view for a while; Vanessa was drawing and I was reading, leaned up against a convenient boulder. I noticed but didn’t fully appreciate that there was a smallish hole under the boulder on which I was leaning, leading to a largish cavern, about which more later.
Here’s the “before” setup: note iPhone already starting to crawl out of left pants pocket.
To make a long story short, as I stood up to leave, the iPhone launched itself out of my pocket, well, really, just slid a few inches, then hung on the surface of the ground for maybe a fraction of a second — these things always happen in slow motion — as Vanessa and I, still in slow motion, perceived: iPhone on ground, proximate hole in ground, iPhone continuing to slide toward hole, Matt’s hand grabbing madly at where the iPhone had just been fractions of a second before, iPhone entering hole, iPhone swallowed by hole — then there remained just the peaceful gaping maw of hole.
I mean, it could have gone very differently, but it didn’t, and suddenly the phone was gone, down the hole. I looked down the hole and it was visible, but way out of reach — maybe 4 feet down — possibly retrievable with a fishing net or one of those grab-it-for-me things elderly people use, but we had neither, we’re a couple hour hike from even a modicum of civilization, and it was starting to rain. I tried to fashion a net out of the hood of my raincoat and a stick Vanessa found, but squandered my one chance, knocking the phone farther down and out of reach.
Here’s the “after” scenario: note me sticking as much of my head and one shoulder as will (not much) fit through the hole under the rock, floundering around trying to reach the phone.
Anyway, hopefully this is not a major international environmental disaster — littering in a national park, as it were — we did try pretty hard to get it back, but without advanced technology or a trained monkey, it wasn’t happening. As for the phone, I’m sorry to see it go, but it was already pretty severely injured — due to a previous accident involving water, the vibrating ringer and internal speaker were broken, meaning it worked great as an iPod Touch but poorly as an actual phone handset; also the wi-fi radio range was severely compromised, probably by my repair efforts when drying it from said unfortunate water accident — suffice it to say this was already on its last legs. RIP. With luck, it may make an interesting archaeological find for someone in the future.