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South America 2016: Day 03 (Peru 03): Nov 24

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After a nice breakfast at Urubamba, our driver and van shows up to take us to the first stop of the day, the salt mines of Maras. Dusty, narrow, and bumpy roads.

Entering the site, a 10 soles entry. We walk up and follow the arrows through the merchant stalls and finally to the pits of salt. We just… Walked right through, amongst the workers. Crazy. Anyone could’ve really fallen in. The paths are narrow but the workers confidently step along them with huge bags of salt on their backs. Impressive. The pits of salt are split up with rocks, everything looks, if not is, completely natural. Reminded me of the leather tannery in Morocco. Without the smell. There are streams of salty water flowing through the whole thing, I guess depositing salt along the way. Little hills and pockets of salt. It was really cool to see it all. 

Back up and off to Moray, Inca ruins. A nice stroll down and around. Unfortunately we aren’t allowed into the inner rings 🙁 each ring was to create micro climates of 5 degrees cooler in order to grow different crops. There are three of the rings, but the first is the largest. Starting from the left side was the better choice as the slope up on the right was very gradual. 

Now, an hour ride to Ollantaytambo! An event blocked roads so that we had to be let off a bit further and find our hostel. Good timing, Gayaanan just arrived about 20 minutes earlier! Rest for a bit and then headed out to the ruins, 200 steps up and around. Guhhhh. 

Very beautiful and windy. The steps were very steep though, we took our time and tested. The ruins were cool, preserved, a lot of fun. We walked along the cliffs on to the other side with a hut and down down down. The terrace farming like Moray, is very common.

Finishing around 4, we split up and plan to meet at 6 for dinner. Shopping in the central plaza, pretty expensive, it’s a good thing we have good hagglers. We stopped for tea and ice cream at the choco museo. On our way back, the llamas that were in the square were being herded out, was a cool sight to see. So many of them in the middle of the road, we took a lot of pictures and Gayaanan got kicked by one as the Llama fell from being pushed. Oops. Back to the hostel to meet up.

The restaurant, by the train station, was attached to a hotel. Looked really nice and expensive with live music. Very good food, but we had to have a light dinner, white meat. And Chicha, black corn drink. Done and out of there. It looked like a train just came in from the mass of taxi drivers asking if we needed a ride… 
Back to the hostel to pack our duffel bags for the trek. We were allowed around 3-4kg worth of belongings to be carried by the porters for the next 4 days. Wasn’t too bad… It took a while, but we all packed up and slept. It’s gonna be a long and challenging trek. No instagram posts for a bit 😛

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