A Travellerspoint blog

Sep 25 Maras and Moray

sunny 19 °C
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Today we went to the salt mines of Maras and the terraces of Moray.

We had to travel above the salt mines through a switchback road, no barriers of course, and drop down them. A hot stream fills the wells with water which evaporates and then they scoop out the salt into 50 pound bags that are carried by hand, in some cases by women.

The mines are from pre-Inca times (13th C) where there were only 17 mines, and during the Inca time, there were 40. Now there are about 3000. There are hundreds of owners of the wells, not just one company but there is an organization that runs it, determining price etc.

We tried various salts and salted chocolate and of course did some shopping. I now have had to open up my extra bag for all our purchases.

In Moray, we visited an Inca agricultural laboratory, a series of deep terraces where the people tried experiments with different corn seeds and potatoes. The bottom of the terrace is a constant 15C and the temperature rises as the terraces rise up to the top. In this way the could see the effect on temperature and other factors on the seeds.

Another benefit was, that instead of sending bags of corn or potatoes around the country, they could determine the weather of an area, recreate it in the terrace and then send only the seeds to that city. Brilliant.

Lovely lunch at a restaurant in Ollantaytambo and then the afternoon to enjoy this pretty hotel.

Spent some time trying to figure out our luggage as our suitcases will be transferred back to Cusco tomorrow and we continue on to Machu Picchu with an overnight bag which goes to the next hotel and a backpack that comes with us to Machu Picchu. Oh my poor head. And I had to open up my extra bag so that I can fit in all our purchases. Didn’t think I bought that much!

Maras Salt mine

Moray agricultural terraces. Each ring is 8 feet deep.

Posted by barb3389 08:55 Archived in Peru

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Anxious to see your Cusco photos. I was overwhelmed on my visit there. But we had to cut it short as rains came in while we were there and they closed down the site. But we still had several hours to explore. We were fortunate. The next day it rained again and people got stranded.

by littlesam1

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