Maras, Moray and the Salt Mines -Sacred Valley

Trip Start Jul 27, 2009
Trip End Aug 12, 2009

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Flag of Peru  , Cusco,
Sunday, August 2, 2009

The drive to Maras, Moray and the Salt Mines brought into view broad expanses of rolling hills with snow capped mountains in the distance. The fields dressed in their winter brown were feeding grounds for sheep.  It seemed as though we were the only car on the road although we sometimes had to stop for the sheep or donkeys that were also using the road.  Children were watching their flocks.

In Maras, we walked to a Catholic Church with a mass service and listened to the singing and the priest who was speaking in Quechua, the language of the Inca civilization, presently spoken by about 7 million people in Peru.  It doesn't sound at all like Spanish. 

On our way to Moray, we passed locals making the adobe bricks for houses.   A harvest was being separated by a team of donkeys circling and stepping on the ground.  Lots of manual labor in Peru.

In Moray, I needed to use my wide angle lens as wide as it could go to take in the vast expanse of the circular agricultural terraces.  We walked down to the center of the largest circle, using the stone stairs made by the Incas.  These were steep stairs and we thought that Incas were short, so we were perplexed and wondering if they ran up and down the stairs with a stride that propelled them from one step to another.  No one really knows the answer to this or any other question about the Incas you might come up with.  It’s conjecture and educated deductions.  The Incas did not have a written alphabet, so we only know what the Conquistadors and their aides decided to write down or what has been verbally passed along from generation to generation. 

David Ramos, our guide, brought along his Peruvian flute today and played for us at the bottom of the main circular terrace.  We sat on the ground, I closed my eyes and listened to each note as it slowly joined the still wind.  I was hoping that I would feel some of the earth energy this area is known for.  I was focused and relaxed. At one point Harvey moved from the side where he had been taking photos to sit between me and the center.  Immediately, I could feel a change in energy.  A few minutes later when he moved to sit beside me, also facing the center, I could feel the energy return again.  Funny thing is that I was only aware of this energy until it was blocked and then released again. 

The Salt Mines create a vari-colored beige and brown graphic tapestry nestled between two mountains.   We watched as families separated out the different colors of salt using rakes and their hands.  Of course at the souvenir stand we purchased some local salt that looks like the fancy French sea salt or kosher salt.  We made our first gift purchase in Peru.  Yes, we are starting to help the local economy and doing our job as tourists.  David helped me choose a quartz crystal pendulum.  I was drawn to a deep turquoise and purple stone which I also purchased negotiating a small discount for purchasing two stones.  I passed on the green and cream color stone that looked a little like vanilla fudge; supposedly it was from the Machu Picchu area and I figured I would pick it up when we got to Machu Picchu. If every tourist buys a stone from Machu Picchu, it seems to me that the entire city will disappear in a few years.  Is it possible that these stones don’t really come from Machu Picchu?  As we walked in the late afternoon from the Salt Mines down to the Urubamba River we watched the colors change on the salt terraces and the mountains.  Beautiful.

This evening we visited the planetarium at our hotel, the Casa Andina Private Collection Sacred Valley.  What a hoot.  We learned so much about the skies over the Sacred Valley, about the constellations and sightings of UFOs. There was only one other couple at our session.  Although they were from England they had an excellent sense of humor.
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