Crop Circles & Salt...

Washing Lama Wool
After by long day in the remote peaceful paradise of Machu Picchu, I set foot once again looking at Inca ruins. I started my day having a conversation with a couple of Japanese backpackers from Yokohoma. This time I’m off to Moray which is forty two miles from Cusco along the long & windy roads going up & down threw the changes of altitude. I’m not going to lie, but have felt the effects of the altitude & wake up rather nauseous in the mornings & sometimes get a headache, oh the joys of altitude sickness, but it’s part of the adventure.  The Andes people love coca & it works for a natural cure for the altitude, but there are no coco trees around these parts, it comes from the jungle in the Amazon.  I’ve also notice that something smells so familiar to me while driving & being out in the valley, eucalyptus trees are everywhere intermixed with the pine tree. No they don’t have any kola’s in them. Apparently, they came to Peru in the 1800’s from of course Australia.  It reminds me of home in a way.  Oh, don’t I just love the “Land Down Under”. Experiencing the Inca ruins is like going “templing” at Angkor Wat in a way cos I keep on experiencing a new one every moment I turn while being in Inca country in the southeast part of Peru high in the Andes.  It’s a lovely place to explore for sure.  I’m very grateful for coming here.
First stop this morning was a stop in the village of Chinchero to visit local Andes woman who make wool from the lama.  They did a fabulous presentation in describing the process both in Spanish & in English.  They also served coca tea as a warm welcoming gesture. There was also a market with local goods for purchase.  I’ve been impressed with the brightness of the local goods & friendliness of the people at the markets.
Salt Mines
I was inspired to visit the salt mines in Maras from an edition of National Geographic from last spring that featured a photo of Machu Picchu on the cover & had a brief story about Bingham’s expedition back in 1911 to discover the place.  This year marks the 100 anniversary of that discovery.  I noticed it yesterday with my new Machu Picchu stamp in my Passport. I was very moved by the photo of the Andes woman walking on the salt mines that inspired me to visit this place. The salt mines were amazing.  They are huge, huge, and huge, one could walk miles upon miles on them.  I was fascinated to learn that they do this process all by hand.  Peruvian Pink Salk is harvest here.  Also, all of the restaurants from Cusco use the salt that is harvest in this place.  Very beautiful beds of salt line the hills.
Moray is rather an unique archeological complex, its name comes from the Quechua word “Aymoray” that is related to the harvest of corn during the month of May.  The site is a large agricultural number of circular concentric terraces with four slightly elliptic galleries known as “Muyus” & the longest is one hundred fifty meters deep. It’s been speculated due to its controlled climate conditions during Inca times to have been an experimental farming center or nursery, where various varieties of corn & improved seeds were adapted to the varied climates & altitudes throughout the Tawantinsuyo.  Crops whit high contents of quality nutrients were developed, since each set of circular terraces has a different micro-climate. Yes, crop circles do exist & they were not built by aliens, but rather by the native people.  They are beautiful.  It was amazing to walk down into them.  The Incas has a deep appreciation for the spiritual world, nature & the family, which is characterized by each of the sites, I have visited.  It was something else going from one layer to the next with a wee rock steps imbedded into stonewall that one has to look closely before loosing their step. I must admit that I’ve done my fair share of “rock climbing” in the last few days with the Inca’s marvelous steps. Apparently each of the layers was used for one specific crop in an irrigation system. I visited three out of the four crop circles & each one was different than the previous one in size & design. Again, another beautiful day with sunshine for the rainy season traveling along the beautiful Sacred Valley of the Incas with wildflowers in bloom & animals in herds roaming freely.  There’s something mystical about this part of Peru, I can’t really explain it, you just have to come & see the beauty of the place.

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