|After breakfast we wander down to the square and there is a big parade being held. People everywhere. We have a look in a couple of streets to try and pick out our Hotel from 2004 but can't remember where it is. Finally we decide to go to an upstairs cafe and have a coffee and watch the parade. There are Military platoons, clowns, service groups, bands and children’s groups, all parading around the square. It is very colourful and noisy. We watch from the comfort of the balcony sipping on a coffee!
We head back to the Hotel as we need to pack some gear for our quad biking tour though the Sacred Valley. We meet our guide in the square and then travel in a mini bus with two really young (<25) couple from the UK, 3 American girls in their mid 20's and and a group of 8 Spanish speakers, young too!. We travel nearly 2 hours to Cruzpata in the Sacred Valley. We only have one stop on the way at a petrol station to get fuel for the quad bikes. Interestingly there are staff to fill the container and even another staff member to bring over a soft drink and small roll for the driver. Such service!
Firstly we get a lesson in the gears. These are semi automatic. All looks pretty easy. The young couple go first and then Phil and I, then the 3 girls and the Spanish speakers. The first four of us are okay but the others struggle. With a few stops and starts and waiting for those that aren't too good, we finally get moving consistently. We travel through the valley on dirt roads and tracks, up and down hills and through small villages watching out for stock crossing the roads and people and vehicles in the villages. The bikes are such fun.
We first arrive at Moray which is at about 3,500m and consists of several terraced circular depressions, the largest of which is approximately 30 m (98 ft) deep. As with many other Inca sites, it also has an irrigation system. The purpose of these depressions is to experiment with agriculture and crops, and their depth, design, and orientation with respect to wind and sun creates a temperature difference of as much as 15 °C (27 °F) between the top and the bottom. We spend time looking around and then its back on the bikes to return to our starting point. Loved the quad bikes and we travelled about 50kms in total.
We then get back into the mini bus and visit Maras, salt pans. We were here in 2004. I think it has gotten bigger and is still a spectacular site with the roughly circular terraces all white cascading down the hill.
We travel back to Cuzco and this seems to take forever. We arrive back to Cuzco about 7pm, so quickly back to the Hotel to drop off gear and shower as we are a bit dusty from the bikes. Dinner tonight is at PerUK which is just down the road. Nice little restaurant that only seats 18 with 3 waiting staff. Food is really good. I had trout and Phil chicken and veggie pasta. Nice atmosphere too!