Moray and the Salt Mines at Urubamba

Trip Start Aug 20, 2005
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Trip End Dec 20, 2005


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Saturday, August 27, 2005

For our first group outing Kenny organized a trip to the Incan Terraces at Moray. This area is believed to be a sort of Incan nursery where plants from throughout the vast Incan empire were cultivated and adapted to the Andean climate. The origin of the terraces is not fully known. They were originally pre-Incan sites later developed and used by the Incan empire. German researchers recently confirmed that from the terraces at the bottom of the site to those at the top, there is an average degree variance over the year of 1-2 degrees per level. This allowed the Incan's to plant crops needing warmer weather at the bottom of the site, and those more cold tolerant at the top. As you can see from the pictures, the site is overwhelming. Considering it is more than 500 years old, it is amazing to see the ingenuity and construction used. I found the precarious stair system used to move from terrace to terrace especially interesting. At 12,500 feet hiking through the terraces was a feat in itself. Even more amazing are the mountain peaks that ascend into the sky covered with snow. It was hard to believe at 12,500 feet, there were peaks that seemed to rise another 12,500.
From the Incan Terraces at Moray, we traveled to Urubamba to see the salt mines in the hills up above the river. After hiking for about 20 minutes we came upon pools that had been built into the side of the hills overlooking the Urubamba River. The pools collected water as it seeped down from the surrounding area, filled with natural salts. Over the summer months the water will evaporate and allow the locals to mine the remaining slat and bag it for sale across the region. The site was amazing with salt already being harvested and sold to locals who packed 50 kilo bags on burrows and traveled back down to the valley to re-sell.
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Comments

dan on

awesome blog, one of the best so far with real informative pics. Would you know if they sell that salt there? and how much?
Thanks for sharing

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