Sunday, September 8, 2013

Day Tripping to Maras, Moray, and Salineras

By 9 A.M., I was already off to see some ruins with Candice. We headed to the "bus station" to get a van to Maras and Moray. The bus station is less like a bus station and more like a driveway. Our first stop (after missing the stop for Chincinero) was Maras. Maras might have been a town at one point, but these days it's a collection of crumbling buildings. We hailed a cab and drove through to Moray. On the way, the cab stopped at the "gas station" (someone's house) to fill up via funnel. Moray was absolutely beautiful. It was an Incan science experiment. They used terracing in circular patterns to test different micro climates. Each level of Moray has a completely different temperature. It's crazy to think about how advanced this civilization was.

We paid our cab driver to wait for us for an hour while we saw Moray so that we would definitely have transportation for the next 9 km portion of our trip. He was still there waiting, so we headed to Salineras, a salt mine that was created during Incan times, but is still functioning. Salineras is one of the most beautiful and fascinating places that I have been to. A small hot spring at the top of the mine carries salty water across an impressive array of salt flats. The place is mind boggling. How anyone created such a thing is unreal.

On the way back from Moray, we stopped at our original stop to have lunch and to check out the market. The market had the typical assortment of alpaca gloves and blankets and bags. We spent most of our time having lunch at a restaurant right outside of the market. It's always crazy to me that I can buy a three course meal with drink for 14 soles or $7.

After lunch, we hailed a combi from the side of the highway, then headed back to Cusco. Our next stop was the Museo de Pisco. I had an amazing strawberry Pisco drink that the bartender actually set on fire.

After the Piscos, we tried to meet up with our friends at Amy's house. Amy gave us directions and sent us a map on my phone, but neither helped. When the street is called E1, there's no hope in finding it. We found a place called E1, and knocked on the door, but a random Peruvian man opened the door. He took a look at our map, but even he didn't know where her house is. We wandered the streets for almost an hour before giving up. We bought a chocolate cake and headed home.

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