BootsnAll Travel Network



Me, donkeys, and sheep

Today I hit the town with a few buddies.

donkeys-maras.jpg

This was truly one of those instances while traveling when you have no idea where the day will take you.  I had three things on the agenda: a town named Maras, an Inca site named Moray, and the Salineras.  The day started on a collectivo packed full of Peruvians and me.  Just when you think they’ve squeezed as many people as possible into a small Toyota van… they stop and pick up one more guy!   I eventually made my way to Maras.  It’s a town that usually sees few tourists as  it is.  I was there early enough in the morning that I was the only gringo in town.  Pretty cool; a bunch of locals staring at me, the donkeys, and the sheep.

sheep.jpg

From Maras, I planned on making my way to Moray.  Now taxis aren’t plentiful in these parts.  Most people hire them in Cusco and take a taxi tour of the area.  By design, I had mine simply drop me off.  So just as I was resigned to embark on the 8km hike to Moray, a tourist minivan rolls up and offers me a ride for 5 soles(about $1.65).  Cha ching.   15 minutes later I’m staring at Moray.

moray.jpg

The Incas took a massive sink hole and terraced the whole thing.  And I mean massive.  In the above photo there are people standing in the middle of the bottom ring.  Trust me.  This thing is massive.  There’s a 3 degree celsius temperature difference between the top terrace and the bottom.  The Incas used this phenomenon for crop experimentation.  One thing I love about a lot of the Inca sites is the built-in staircases — stone slaps sticking out of the wall, just as functional today as they were in 1420.

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Once I hiked back to the top of the Moray terraces, I discovered my tourist bus left without me, in spite of the driver’s promises to the contrary.  No worries.  I quickly found a taxi that had been hired by two wacky French guys, and it was headed where I was headed: the Salineras.  The Salineras are nothing short of jaw dropping.  More than 5,000 salt beds created because — for some inexplicable reason — a natural spring at the site spews salt water.  No one’s quite sure why, but it was a site to behold, and I think you could travel the world and never see anything like it.  The salt beds are actually pre-Incan, and still actively producing salt today.

salineras-top.jpg

salineras-side.jpg

salineras.jpg

It was an enjoyable day, in which I winged it and took a variety of transportation methods, met lots of people with varied and interesting stories.  And I saw some pretty cool things along the way.  For now, South America’s best self-portrait photographer, signing off.

mat-moray.jpg



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2 responses to “Me, donkeys, and sheep”

  1. Dad says:

    Just when I think you have taken so great photos, you come in with things like today. Those were truthfully some great photos and a good little tid bit on each photo makes it that more interesting.

    I really like the hat that the sheep hearder has on.

    You did forget one thing, what were the donkeys names? ha

    The salt and the terraced volcano are really neat.

    The steps are more unique than the waling path steps over the fences in
    the UK

    I have to admit, they dont build them like they use to.

    Are the salt springs still active?

    It is 11 pm here so Good Night Son and keep the updates coming.

    Love You

    Dad

  2. Lynda says:

    These pictures are really amazing….I’m sure the “real things” are even more so.
    It sounds like you a having a very varied, interesting time….winging it successfully as far as transportation goes.
    Where to next?
    Lynda

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