October 22, 2012
Today we went on a day trip to the agricultural Incan terraces at Moray and the salt pans at Salineras. We've seen a lot of the Urubamba bus terminal lately as we had to take another bus here today. Then we hopped on the Cusco bus and jumped off at the junction for the small town of Maras. There we negotiated for a taxi to take us to Moray and Salineras (and to wait for us to take a look around at both places before returning us to the junction to catch a bus back to Urubamba).
At Moray there are three massive, deep bowls inset with perfect concentric terraces. Apparently the Inca used the terraces as a kind of agricultural experiment station to determine the best crops and varieties for growing at different elevations.
At Salineras there are thousands of salt pans built into the steep slopes dropping down to the valley floor. The pans are fed from a spring with a very high salt content and worked by a large extended family, who rake up the salt crystals into conical piles where it dries before being bagged. The overall visual impression of the site is very strange, all the more so for being so unexpected in this environment.