Ginny's Adventures 2019 travel blog

city of Urubamba

bird in fields

farm land

Marasal salt mines from pullout above

section 2 of mines

section 3 - huge area

closer view of someone's plot

overview from vehicle entrance

working the plot

overflow is waste?

explaining her hat and dress

using a root to make soapy water

washing a piece of wool

spinning comes next - they spin yarn all the time

different materials make different colors

they take a certain beetle off the prickly pear

rub it and get red

which is in lipstick!

plants are boiled

and yarn is dipped to dye it

so many different colors and shades

stringing the yarn to prepare for weaving

each woman has her family's design in her head

showing the design for this piece

working the yarn to make the design

don't get them mixed up!

gives an appreciation for their products

blankets and such

many smaller items

entrance to the family's house

courtyards and bedrooms

kitchen and living area

first course - a good pancake

soup comes next

main course

shaman and master of house get set up

prepares coca leaves to hand to each of us

after a long time, we hand leaves to him while making a...

he receives the leaves and blesses them

lots of other natural things added with blessings/prayers

folded the paper, passed it over us, praying that our wishes come...

preparing to burn it

and then it burns and we are sent off

part of a spectacular rainbow as leaving town

the other half

a double rainbow too!

courtyard of hotel

I treated myself to a long hot shower this morning. After breakfast, we boarded a bus and visited the Maras Salt mines where families own and care for a pentagon-shaped pool with water that flows from a salt spring. They changed the rules so we didn't get up close and personal to see a demonstration of mining the salt - Percy explained it and again I couldn't understand him.

The next stop was in Chincheros where we went into a big shop and learned the process of weaving, from cleaning wool to dying it to spinning it to preparing skeins, to actually weaving designs that are ingrained in their heads. If a woman doesn't learn or cannot grasp how to weave, she is sent to the fields to farm. We were also told about the traditional dress of the weavers, complete with multiple uses of their hats. Then, we were told we had about 20 minutes to look at their products and possibly make a purchase. It took at least 40 minutes and most of us bought something there. I thought we would go to a market, but this family has control of the town's economy!

We had lunch at this family's house (they had a long table already set for us - they do it all the time). It was a 3 course meal and all of it was good food. Afterwards, a shaman came and went through a ceremony with coca leaves and other natural items that was meant to bless us and wish us good health and safe journeys. All of the items were put into a paper that was folded then burned instead of buried so that the wishes came to us faster.

We saw a spectacular rainbow when leaving that town that started and ended over fields, not water. At one point, there was even a double rainbow. People remarked that it was a result of sitting through that ceremony that took over an hour!

Cusco is a big city that seems scary and impoverished. Finally, we rounded a corner and things looked better. The hotel is called Hotel Costa Del Sol Ramada.

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