16 October 2012
Circular Inca terraces, Moray, Peru
These are not crop circles but enormous circular terraces built by the Incas. If you look carefully towards the top of the first picture, 3 people are standing on the edge of the main circular terrace, which gives an idea of the scale, hence the adjective "enormous".
Unlike other Inca terraces which can be observed throughout the Sacred Valley, these ones were probably used as experiments, the Incas planting different crops with different soils on various levels, while playing with the wide differences in temperature between top and bottom (up to 15 degrees Celsius, because of the wind and sun direction). The terrace concept, with its irrigation system, also allowed to conserve scarce water in the mountains.
I cycled to visit various sites in the Sacred Valley, including this one, Moray, located at about 3,500 metres above sea level. Not sure I'd do it again – that was really tough, even though I had planned on going downhill most of the time! But that's maybe a story for another post.