Published: February 26th 2009February 25th 2009
I am back in motion. So were a lot of people in the countryside of Cusco region
"..on the road again..." I can hear Willie´s twang in my head as I drive up the mountain and over tabletop fields of corn and potatoes. I am in an old car with a driver who knows all the back roads. We nearly get stuck in mud twice, but his zippy sense of direction cuts off a few kilometres I suspect.
With great sadness I left Ollantaytambo and headed for the Inca site, Moray. I left the rain in the mountains for the first part of the day. We drove past Urubamba and turned right, over the river and up the mountain. Once we hit the tableland the sky was a perfect blue with cumulus clouds signaling rain sometime that day. The open sky was a nice change from the mountains; don´t get me wrong, I love them both for different reasons.
We passed through the village of Maras where the houses were made of clay and straw bricks. This looked like a poor village, and the sign on the clinic seemed to confirm that all was not well. Huge letters spelling out Hepititas B, and I hope it was an add for people to come and get a vaccine. I
The rain stayed in the mountains while we visited Moray.
have noticed that physical labour is the primary method to move goods or dig ditches or farm. Although I did see one tractor and plow, I suspect that only very large farms can afford this kind of machinery. Just before we got to Moray I saw two men with large cannisters of spray dusting the plants. I wonder how much agri-business has control of farming in this country? If big businesses own most of the cropland, poverty in the villages would be increased.
Most of the farmland, that I have seen in this area, is used for crops. Animals are tied in small patches of grass, such as marginal land between railroad and road, or house and highway. I wonder who owns most of the land? Often I see people bring grass to the tied animals. (e.g. first photo) Do farmers collectively own the field of grain and share the feed for their animals? or do the small farmers have to buy the grass and grain for their cattle? On the tabletop land there was some communal pasture, it seemed, but the grass was very short.
When we got to Moray, I descended into the first circle of terraced land.
Animals were on the move, too. Being shifted from one ditch or field to the other. We saw donkeys, cattle, pigs and sheep, but no Llamas
If I had known there was a second and third, I would have hurried. I´d like to return to this site and spend more time exploring the circles.
The drive back to Cusco got more depressing as we approached the city limits. Rain was sprinkling when I got to the hotel. By night heavy rains were falling. I have got to plan the next few weeks of this trip.
There are more photos below