Sunday, June 03, 2007

Moray Inca Ruins and Salt Factory

Took a day trip out of Cusco today with a group of friends to visit some Inca ruins.

First stop was some terraced ruins that were apparently used by the Incas to experiment on crop growth. Each terrace has a different microclime so the Incas were able to test crops to see which ones could be grown in the various regions of there territory. Pretty damned clever those Incans...

After lunch (which seemed to attract an equal number of stray dogs and children) in a local village we took an hour walk down to Riobamba along a dirt track. Fantastic views to be had down into the valleys.

And some more ruins off in the distance.

The salt factory was constructed by the Incans after they noticed that the stream running through this vlley was exremely rich in salt - in fact you can see salt crystals on the edge of the stream. They build these terraces to evaporate off the water and they are still in use today. You may be able to find this salt exported under the brand name of Peruvian Pink Salt.

Here's some dried out salt.

And here's a chap scraping it up. Apparently there's 200+ people working here. The water is distributed to each terrace and contained by a network of channels which are blocked and unblocked to regulate the flow.

A pretty amazing day really. Lovely countryside.

Off to Lake Titikaka tomorrow.

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