Great trek to Moray today. Just a short collectivo and taxi from Ollantaytambo you can find yourself at the wonders of Moray. Moray is an agricultural experiment done by the Incas to grow different crops, (mainly corn), in concentric circles in a deep valley to protect it from the wind and other harsh weather elements. It is quite massive an impressive, especially when you walk down the large stone steps protruding out of each of the circular walls and look up to the top and see the little people above you. After witnessing this wonder we walked back to the city of Maras for a tea break. Great timing, since it started raining. Once it stopped we were off to find the Salinares, the pink salt mines. Wondering through farmers fields, talking to farmers, children, sheep and cows as well as admiring some beautiful flowers we finally came about the ridge and looked down to see the salt mines. A multitude of pools,each filled with salt rich water and cascading down, deep into the valley. Apparently these mines are 600 years old. Incredible.
After getting our fill of the salt mines and buying some pink salt we headed through the mines maneuvering our way through the pools of salty water, being careful not to slip on the wet clay and into the salty pools and made our way towards the village below. Just before the road we found a great restaurant to stop in with a large gazebo, filled with carved wooded tables and chairs that were very reminiscent of a Slovak Izba. We ducked just as it started raining again had hot chocolate and potatoes. The staple of Peruvian meals. From the sanctuary of the gazebo we had a great view of a large bush with red trumpet flowers blooming from it. This flowers are called Kontu, and ancient Inca flower. As we sat, full and satisfied we saw one of the great wonders of Peru the largest hummingbird flapping it's wings a million times a minute and feeding of the Kontu. These hummingbirds are the size of a sparrow. It is pretty amazing they can still move their wings so fast at that size.
However, as the bird flew off we too were ready to go. So we walked the rest of the way up to the road with heavy feet laden with wet clay and waited on the side of the road for a collectivo (mini-van) to take us back to Ollantaytambo. Finally one with enough room for two of us came by, unfortunately not two of us could sit. So I stood in the mini-van hunched over with my rear end in the faces of those in the back of the bus. Fortunately after about 10-15minutes of that some people got off and I was able to step my foot down by the door and straightened out a bit and turn around so my butt was squished against the side door window. I felt that this would be an opportune time to moon, but changed my mind. Thank goodness, because moments later as we took a sharp turn in the road the door slid part way open blowing a gust of wind and making a little boy and myself slip towards the opening. The mother grabbed the boy and held him close. While another women yelled "Senor,la puerta". "Mister the door." Once the initial shock was gone and turned myself around and was able to close the door. Phew!
One of these days a collectivo mini-van will just fall apart on the road I'm sure. I just hope I'm not in it.