The Mystery of the Magical Moray - Day 499
Today, our last day in Cusco we visited another Inca site, would we find out about the mystery of the magical Moray?
Our last day in Cusco. We arrived three weeks ago, what a fascinating area. Incredible Inca Archaeological sites, shops full of vibrant colours and textures, excellent cafes and restaurants and warm and kind people. Wonderful (apart from the high altitude – have I mentioned that it doesn’t suit me?!)
Our last home here for the past eight days have been at an Airbnb with Émy, Ores and their delightful daughters Paola and Laura. They had treated us like family, looking after Tim after he had his tooth out and then me when I was unwell a couple of days ago. We have been very fortunate to stay with such a lovely family.
After much chatting, taking photos and warm goodbyes, we went off to find a bus, this time to Moray for our 6th Inca site. There are a few bus systems here; normal ones where people wait at bus stops and the one yesterday and today are small minibuses that only leave when they have enough passengers and stop at just a few places. We ended up waiting for a good half hour until finally, the bus was full and away we went.
A beautiful journey through rolling hills and mountains in the background with glaciers like icing on the cake. We arrived at a stop on the outskirts of Moray, jumped off and were quickly asked if we wanted to get another minibus up to Moray Archaeological Site. After agreeing on a price, we hopped on, and I realised that the man next to us spoke English. This was Christian who is Peruvian and lives in Lima most of the time, Germany some of the time and a few months near here as he runs his family’s Fig Farm. We immediately took to him, such an interesting guy. We ended up walking around Moray together and thoroughly enjoying Christian’s company.
Christian is passionate about “Slow Food”. Perhaps you remember us visiting a Slow Town in South Korea, this movement started in Italy. We chatted about agriculture and shared about the irrigation system that we saw in Tipon which Christian has yet to visit. Meanwhile, we slowly walked around the incredible round terraces of Moray.
Imagine three large Roman amphitheatres surrounded by mountains. Instead of Roman tiled levels, these have flat terraces of grass. The difference in temperature from top to bottom can be as much as 15 °C. Why did the Incas build these round terraced circles?
There is a book called Moray: Inca Engineering Mystery where the author Kenneth R Wright has exhaustively investigated the mystery of this fantastic site. At a hefty cost of £54 for a paperback, you need to really want to discover the secret to this place.
I will let you in on what most people believe this place was used for – an Agricultural Research area where it is believed that the Incas grew various types of potato (I’ve heard in the region of 3,000 varieties) and tested the crops at the different microclimates. Isn’t that incredible if it is true!
We walked around two of the “stadiums”, one of them was damaged by a landslide, and the rocks have been piled neatly, which demonstrated for me the enormous work that was required to build these magnificent circles. We wondered how the Incas made the rings so perfectly. Did they use a pole and string, making the top outermost one first, then digging down for the lower layers? I don’t suppose we will ever know.
It really is a magical place, and I can envisage for Christian, as a farmer and interested in organic and permaculture farming, it must have been even more amazing.
Just as we were about to leave, Tim spotted a rainbow across the valley. This place is so beautiful. We said a very fond farewell to Christian, looking forward to seeing him again in Lima. After a short while, a very nice coach stopped with Cusco on the front. We couldn’t believe our luck as there were just two deluxe seats left. And it only cost us just over £1 for the 90 minute journey.
On the coach, I was right in front of the video screen, and they were showing Escape Plan with Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. I was quite shocked as it was so violent. I’ve checked, and it was rated a “15” in the UK. Personally, I really don’t think films like this should be shown in public places. A little girl of about five was sitting behind me. Mmmm…
Later we were on another bus, this time an overnight bus to Puno by Lake Titicaca. No films this time, Lights out, time for bed. Our next adventure begins…