Salt pits and Crop Circle Experiments
On our way to Ollantaytambo, which was the town where we would take the train to Aguas Calientes for Machu Picchu, we made a detour to see the crop circles of Moray and the Salt Pits at Maras. The journey from Cusco to the turn off to Moray and Maras was stunningly beautiful with the snow-capped mountains. It was rather stomach-churning, however, going round the mountains! Thankfully the detour cut out a lot of the more windy bits!
The crop circles in Moray were Inca agricultural experiments. Each circle had a different temperature and different crops were experimented with to find the best conditions for growth.
A few mountain views. This peak is called 'Veronica'.
We got a taxi driver to drop us off at the top of the salt pits in Maras and then we walked the hour down to the lower Ollantaytambo road following the top of the salt pits and then the llama and mule route down. The Saliñeras or Salt Pits were on my 'really want to see' list and they didn't disappoint. They were fascinating. Apparently a salty river runs down the valley and the pits collect the water and allow it to evaporate leaving the salt behind. The path along the top of the salt pits was a bit thin at points but the boys loved the adventure and thankfully didn't fall into the pits! They did want to stick their fingers in the salt regularly and lick it!
This last photo shows how the salt pits are made from a river - you can see how it looks a bit like a frozen waterfall. Although there were many coach trips at the top of the salt pits, there were surprisingly few people who also walked down to the Ollantaytambo road - I expected to see a few more backpackers. I didn't mind, though - it was nice to be traveling the road without lots of other people - it felt more like it would have been in the pre-tourist days.
I hope you enjoyed looking at the photos. Next time I'll share some photos from our trip to Machu Picchu!
You can get new posts delivered straight to your inbox by signing up here.