In all honesty, writing about Peru has been a slow and tenuous process. It was a wonderful experience but in the midst of trouble stateside. It was the last trip we would take together but I’m glad it was to Machu Picchu. It’s tough to write about the adventure that, at times, I have a hard time breathing life into now. But I also never want to forget about the wonders of Peru and everything it has to offer and so I continue on with the account of the journey.
The second day we were in the Sacred Valley, we traveled via taxi to Salinas, a salt mine nestled in the Peruvian hills above Urubamba. Rows and rows of salt pools lined the side of the mountain. A lone worker beat the murky white water with a large hammer. We walked along the crusty earth, careful to not fall into one of the salty pools. I picked up a few salt packets from the vendors lining the way out.
Our taxi driver gave us an hour so once our time was up, we continued on to Maras, a small village up above Salinas. We stopped briefly to take a few pictures while a stray dog came begging for scraps.
Our last stop for the day was Moray, another Incan ruin. This one was particularly interesting due to its crop circle shape. It’s believed that the Incas once used the area for agricultural experimentation to test different type of crops, growing at different elevations, in microclimatic conditions. Out of all the lesser known ruins in the Sacred Valley, it was one of my favorite.
As we made our way back to our hotel at the end of the day, we wound our way back through the narrow streets of Maras and down the hill towards Urubamba. We stopped at an overlook, to peer down on the city of Urubamaba below to catch a glimpse of the whole valley. Down in the streets of Urubamba, locals celebrated in the Festival of the Crosses, a religious celebration in which crosses are adorned with flowers and ribbons and carried to local churches.
Next up! Ollaytaytambo and the train to Aguas Calientes, Peru.