Circles, salt ponds and horses!

Added 12 Sep 2014

After a leisurely breakfast we join our private coaches and guides to visit Moray, an archaeological site on a high plateau west of Urubamba. The site contains unusual Inca ruins, including enormous circular terraces, the largest of which is about 30 metres deep. The purpose of these depressions is unclear, but the depth and orientation with respect to wind and sun creates a temperature difference of as much as 15C between the top and the bottom and this was possibly used by the Inca people to study the effects of different climatic conditions on crops. The view from above is impressive and a few of us explore below. Two guests even manage to circumnavigate the site! A local school group arrives in the middle of our visit. All wearing bright orange tops, the children have the energy to run down to a viewpoint and back again in the time we take to walk down 25 steps! They practice some English with us and we try some Spanish. International relations are good.

From Moray we cross the plateau to Maras, where there are some salt evaporation ponds that have been in use since pre-Inca times. Highly salty water from a nearby spring follows a network of channels constructed so that the water runs gradually down onto several hundred shallow terraced ponds. It is an amazing sight. The taste is amazing too!

Our final stop today is for lunch at Wayra. The food is typically Andean and there is plenty of it too. We think we have finished and then yet another dish arrives! After dinner we enjoy a Paso Horse Show. There is also time to take a look at the stables and walk around the beautiful gardens. One or two of us even try a short horse ride. Richard holds on tight.