These salt-evaporation ponds are four kilometers north of the town of Maras, down a canyon that descends to the Rio Vilcanota and the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The salt pans were built by the Incas almost seven hundred years ago and are still being used. An intricate irrigation system diverts an extremely salty (yes, of course we tasted it) natural stream into shallow dug-out shelves, and as the water evaporates the salt settles out.
This postcard shows the jagged walls of Sacsayhuaman, an Incan ruin on a mountainside above the city of Cusco, which can be seen in the background. The huge stone blocks weigh up to 200 tons, and nobody knows how they were cut, moved and fitted (perfectly) into place! The words ‘Viva El Peru’ on the far side of the valley are actually lighter than their surroundings and started out written in a white crayon resist on this postcard… but the resist lost its grip along the way, and I decided to use ink instead.
And here’s Nick on top of the wall lest you get the impression from the postcard picture that the wall surrounding the Sacsayhuaman citadel is of ordinary size at all.