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Tour of the Sacred Valley

Salt Flats
Salt Flats
When Herbe came to pick us up there was a parade of protesters(workers) marching in the streets. We had to wait a few minutes before our driver could get the van through the streets. We were going to the Sacred Valley that day. Because we would be going on the train the next day to Aguas Calientes, we left our luggage at the hotel and only took a small bag and our backpacks. We stopped at Chinchero, an Incan city and walked through the old church and around the grounds. There were lots of potatoes drying in the sun. We stopped at Moray where there were round terraces. There is a sunken amphitheater made up of four circular terraces. Apparently, it was originally designed for experimenting with crops at different altitudes and enabled the Incas to grow more that 250 plant species. These were the only round terraces in Peru, we were told. The altitude was getting to me here. Zed walked down into the bottom and he said it was difficult walking to come back up. We stopped at a place where we were shown how wool was spun, dyed and woven. Another stop that day was at Salinas, the hot salt springs. This was very interesting. The hot salt water flowed out of the mountain and was caught in small traps. When the water evaporated, the salt was shoveled into containers for use. Our final stop for the night was at Ollantaytambo. We checked into our hotel, the El Sauce, which resembled a Swiss chalet. We climbed over 250 steps to the top of the ancient ruins of that Incan city. It was a tremendous view. The view and history of this place was awesome. I ate a delicious pizza that night and sampled the Peruvian popular beer, blanca Cusquena. Herbe was to leave us that night and, Santiago, our new guide for the next three days met us at the hotel and ate with us. He was very animated and interesting. I had very vivid dreams, both at Ollantaytambo and Aguas Calientes. We went to bed early as we were tired and we were to take the train in the morning to Aguas Calientes. We bought a walking cane for my oldest son. This is a tradition for me to bring him back a cane from my travels.

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