The Andean Culture- Part 4

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Another beautiful backdrop for a family picture as we continued our touring around Cusco.

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In a little town called, Chincheros, we relaxed as we watched a knitting demonstration.

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At one point these three women, dressed in native Andean clothing, sang us a song in Quechuan.

They use native plants, seeds, purple corn (which is also made into a drink), berries, etc. to make natural dyes for their alpaca wool.

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After the demonstration we bought some of their handmade items for sale and then they dressed us up for a picture.

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After we waved farewell, we drove quite a ways to our next stop.

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The Maras salt mines, also called, Las Salinas de Maras, were amazing to see up close. We were now 29 miles outside of Cusco, within the Sacred Valley.

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Would you believe there are at least 3000 man-made salt wells or pools?

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This warm and salty little stream flows directly into the pools.

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So the salt comes from a subterranean stream named, Qoripujio, which as been around forever it seems. The sun evaporates the water leaving salt crystals behind which are then harvested by local farmers.

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Notice how the pools are terraced. They are not very deep. It was so much fun to walk around the edge and take it all in.

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Our final stop of the day was Moray. This is believed to have once been an Inca agricultural center.

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The Incas were terrace farmers as I’ve probably mentioned already. Apparently they had a very practical irrigation system in place here once upon a time.

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The mysterious thing about these circular terraced ruins is that the temperature becomes quite a bit warmer at the bottom than it is from the top. Marissa and Marcus ventured down, with our tour guide, to experience this for themselves.

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Both Marissa and Marcus said it was indeed much warmer at the bottom.

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