Today was pretty exciting. We hired our driver from yesterday and drove out to the Salt Flats, an ancient salinas high in the mountains. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site. A natural spring at the top of this mountain pours out water with a very high salinity. For thousands of years people have been channeling the water into terraces that run down the side of the mountain. The salt flats kind of look like rice paddies but they are crusted in salt that at a distance look like snow. Once a flat dries out people stomp on the salt to break it a part and then it is put into big bags and ported up the mountain. We watched a whole family with kids stomping on the salt.
It was really interesting and beautiful. It was like being on another planet. We reached down and tasted the salt water in the channel. It was way saltier than the ocean. I ate a lot of salt while we were there. You can just reach down and pick it up. My lips are still salty.
We bought some small bags of salt, beads and alpaca scarves at the Salinas. I also bought a pair of fingerless bright blue alpaca gloves that are totally punk rock.
Then we continued on to Moray which is an amazing series of three huge circular terraced earth works.They believe the Incas used the bowl shaped earthworks for experimental agriculture, with the terracing acting as micro-climates. We paused on the climb out and I did some sketching.
I’ll post pictures once we get a good Internet connection. I think we got a lot of great ones today. For now I’ll just keep updating the blog from my iPhone.