Kapoors Year 7: Europe/Ecuador/Peru travel blog

We Stayed A Second Night In Aguas Calientes So That We Could...

The Train Took Us Back To Ollantaytambo Where We Visited A Famous...

The Massive Terraces Were Constructed For Defense, But An Important Temple Was...

Massive Stones Were Quarried 6km Away And Transported To The Hilltop To...

The Stones Were Too Big To Move Across The River, So The...

After Exploring The Temple, We Set Out On Trails Across The Top...

We Met Some Foreign Tourists Doing Watercolours Of This Beautiful Local Woman

Back At The Bottom Again, We Admired The Ruins Of A Bath...

We Stopped At A Café In The Town And I Was Able...

Check Out The Unique Hat On This Woman Leading Her Young Daughter...

I Turned My Camera To The Ground When I Discovered This Little...

Our Driver Told Us These Poles With A Red Cloth Means Homemade...

We Continued To Climb High Above The Town Of Urubamba, Beautiful Views

At Salinas, Salt Rich Water Is Channelled Into Terraces And Evaporated By...

The Water Bubbles Up Out Of The Ground Naturally, The Salt Is...

The Thousands Of Salt Pans Have Been Used Since Inca Times

The Different Pans Are At Various Stages Of The Evaporation Process

Not Satisfied With Admiring Salinas From Above, We Hiked Down To Have...

Anil Scooped Up Some Salt Crystals For Me To Photograph

I Loved The Setting, The Colours Of The Salt And The Afternoon...

I Took Dozens Of Photos, It Was Hard To Choose Which Ones...

One More, Here You Can See The Salt Crystals Forming On The...

Our Taxi Wouldn't Start When It Was Time To Leave, We Had...

We Drove The Short Distance To Maras, And Passed By The Central...

A Farmer Happened To Be Walking Through The Square, Loaded Down With...

We Stopped Along The Way To Take Photos Of Donkeys For Our...

And Then We Spotted A Baby On The Opposite Side Of The...

What A Treat, Baby And Momma Together

We Came To See The Concentric Circle Terracing At Moray, So Unusual

It Is Thought That The Incas Built Them To Experiment With Growing...

Each Level Has Its Own Micro-Climate, Depending On How Deep It Is

The Light Was Fading Fast, And We Had To Move On If...

However, When I Spotted These Donkeys Loaded With Freshly Cut Grains, We...

It Was Market Day In Chinchero And We Had To Run The...

I Noticed More Of Those Ceramic 'Good Luck' Bulls On The Rooftops...

The Woven Textiles Were Strikingly Beautiful, But Far Too Bulky For Our...

The Incas Regarded Chinchero As The Birthplace Of The Rainbow

In This Typical Andean Village, The Colonial Church Was Constructed On The...

The last Rays Of A Spectacular Sunset Were Lighting Up The Church...

The Ruins Consist Mostly Of Dramatic Terraces, With Various Rocks Carved Into...

Here You Can See The Massive Rocks Used To Build The Terracing

We Doubled Back To The Church Buildings, I Loved The Green Paint...

We slipped Inside But Weren't Allowed To Take Photos Of The Interior

And Came Back Outside Just As The Sun Disappeared Behind The High...

Anil Loves Corn, So We Sampled The Local Variety, 'Maiz Con Queso'


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BACKGROUND

Excerpts from the Lonely Planet – Peru:

Ollantaytambo

Dominated by two massive Inca ruins, the quaint village of Ollantaytambo is the best surviving example of Inca city planning, with narrow cobblestone streets that have been continuously inhabited since the 13th century. After the hordes passing through on their way to Machu Picchu die down around late morning, Ollanta is a lovely place to be. It’s perfect for wandering the mazy, narrow byways, past stone buildings and babbling irrigation channels, pretending you’ve stepped back in time.

The huge, steep terraces that guard Ollantaytambo’s spectacular Inca ruins mark one of the few places where the Spanish conquistadors lost a major battle. It was to this fortress that the rebellious Manco Inca retreated after his defeat at Sacsaywamán. Then in 1536, Hernando Pizarro (Francisco Pizarro’s younger half-brother) led a force of 70 cavalrymen here, supported by large numbers of indigenous and Spanish foot soldiers, in an attempt to capture Manco Inca.

Pizarro’s men were showered with arrows, spears and boulders from atop the steep terracing and were unable to climb to the fortress. They were further hampered when Manco Inca, in a brilliant move, flooded the plain below the fortress through previously prepared channels. The Spaniards’ horses were bogged down in the water and Pizarro ordered a hasty retreat – which almost became a rout when the conquistadors were followed down the valley by thousands of Manco Inca’s victorious soldiers.

The Incas’ victory was short lived, however. The Spanish forces soon returned with a quadrupled cavalry force and Manco fled to his jungle stronghold in Vilcabamba.

Though Ollantaytambo was a highly effective fortress, it was as much a temple as a fort. A finely worked ceremonial center is at the top of the terracing. Some extremely well built walls were under construction at the time of the conquest and have never been completed. The stone was quarried from the mountainside 6km away, high above the opposite bank of the Río Urubamba. Transporting the huge stone blocks to the site was a stupendous feat. Their crafty technique to move the massive blocks across the river was to leave the blocks by its side then divert the entire river channel around them!

Salinas

This is one of the most spectacular sights in the whole Cuzco area. Thousands of saltpans have been used for salt extraction since Inca times. A hot spring at the top of the valley discharges a small stream of heavily salt-laden water, which is diverted into saltpans and evaporated to produce a salt used for cattle licks. It all sounds very pedestrian but the overall effect is beautiful and surreal.

Moray

The impressively deep amphitheater-like terracing of Moray, reached via the small town of Maras, is a fascinating spectacle. Different levels of concentric terraces are carved into a huge earthen bowl, each layer of which has its own microclimate, according to how deep into the bowl it is. For this reason, some theorize that the Incas used them as a kind of laboratory to determine the optimal conditions for growing crops of each species. There are three bowls, one of which has been planted with various crops as a kind of living museum.

Chinchero

Known to the Incas as the birthplace of the rainbow, this typical Andean village combines Inca ruins with a colonial church, some wonderful mountain views and a colorful Sunday market. The colonial church is built on Inca foundations and its interior, decked out in merry floral and religious designs, is well worth seeing.

The most extensive Inca ruins here consist of terracing. If you start walking away from the village through the terraces on the right-hand side of the valley, you’ll also find various rocks carved into seats and staircases.

On Sunday, traditionally dressed locals descend from the hills for the produce market, where the ancient practice of trueco (bartering) still takes place; this is a rare opportunity to observe genuine bartering.

KAPOORS ON THE ROAD

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