We started off the morning with an hour-long bus ride along the river and train tracks coming into Ollantaytambo. Along the way we paused for a moment to look at a hotel called “Sky Lodge” which was literally in the face of the mountain with capsules for bedrooms hanging off the side of the cliff. Before our day took off, we also saw a dude on the zipline coming down from the lodge which was pretty dope.
Our first stop was at Maras, which was a mix of Incan ruins and a Spanish church. They charged us un sol to pee and as the Groton gang says, “If I pay, you pay”. Do with that what you will. It was at a super high elevation (about 12,000 feet). The church is still in use and there were many wedding ceremonies today. We saw a newly-wed couple leaving the church and having confetti thrown at them (we helped a bit with this part). We bought chomp and took some group pictures in front of the terraces.
After a quick snack, shout out to Beto, our next stop was at the Moray ruins. We didn’t spend much time here but, the terraces here were the most complicated we’ve seen so far. They were in a circular pattern, descending into a shallow valley, and the Incas used this site for domesticated various types of potatoes.
Before our last stop, we ate our lunches that we each brought from home. We visited Las Salineras, a huge salt mine. The drive down was a little terrifying because we were going to drop off a cliff at any second. Anyways, we learned that this has been a resource since the Pre-Incan era and how they collected the three types of salt. They pretty much depend on a natural spring flowing from the mountain which carries the salt to these many pools. With time, the water evaporates and leaves the salt behind. On average, they make two thousand tons in a year.