on the road to Macchu Picchu

    Moray is three concentric terraced circles set     just below a pass high up above the Urubamba     valley with the impressive Vilcanota range as a
    rugged and snowy backdrop. The theory is that     it was an agricultural testing ground with the     terraced levels mimicking different climates:     the Incans were masters of farming as well as     stonemasonry.

    From Moray we dropped down into the valley on     hairpin bends overlooking the town of Urubamba     with its busy little market. We rode past         terraced slopes and donkeys before reaching                                Ollantaytambo. We entered the town via a steep and cobbled ramp and only then did we get a glimpse of the ruins and have to lift our heads to follow them up the side of the mountain.  There were terraces again but these weren’t of any agricultural use being too narrow and too perfect. We wandered around the ruins marveling at the incomplete Temple of the Sun with its six mono- liths of cut and smoothly fitted stones (weighing over 100 tons) and the intricate  ceremonial water channels cut into the bedrock. The mega- lithic details boggled the mind and we were yet to visit the most famous
of all Incan sites.

To get to Macchu Picchu we would take a slightly different route that a few of the budget conscious and adventurous backpackers were beating. Up the Sacred valley but diverging from the train tracks of the multitude to cross by hairpin bends a 4000m pass descending through cloud forest into the drier, hotter valleys where first tea then coffee were being grown on the slopes and bananas were dominating the fields. After rattling around a bit on the rough and stony road we opted to leave the bikes behind and go the last sections with "micro" (or minibus) changing in Santa Maria then Santa Theresa. The last stretch was a spectacular drive on a road gouged into the rocky cliff of a narrow river gorge. It brought us to the last stop on the train tracks that bring the tourists to Aguas Calientes 10km away - the base for all who visit the ruins of Macchu Picchu.