I haven’t eaten in eighteen hours.

Yesterday’s excursion was to the remote site of Moray. My guidebook recommended a hike from the village of Tarabamba in the valley. A path followed a stream to the salineras of Maras–saltpans. After viewing the saltpans, the trek continued another 45 minutes to the town of Maras. From Maras, another five or so kilometers would bring me to Moray.

Thankfully, I listened to the nice lady at the front desk of my hostel, who advised me that the proposed hike would be almost all uphill.

I took a bus and a colectivo from Urubamba to Maras. The driver offered to take me to Moray; I kind of wish I had taken him up on it. Instead, I hoofed it on a dirt path, crossing fields of livestock, descending into a gorge and reemerging out the other side, and reaching Moray in just over an hour. I only had to get out of the way of cattle once. I think the bull was panting.

Moray is known locally as the “laboratory of the Incas.” The entrance to the park is conveniently situated so that I couldn’t see anything without first paying the entrance fee. Once past that roadblock, I was confronted with a series of terraces forming concentric circles. These were real crop circles–the Incas used Moray as a nursery. I overheard a guide say this was where they first grew potatoes. Every terrace was supposed to have its own microclimate. The only change I noticed was when the sun went behind a cloud and I had to put on my jacket.

History lessons are cool. But I imagined not knowing what went on here. Maybe this was the landing pad for the Inca spaceship; the one that left Earth before the Spanish arrived, in search of a new planet to colonize. Who knows? The Incas were brilliant mathematicians and astronomers.

Returning to Maras for an All-American lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, I made my way down the hill to the saltpans–thinking to myself how much fun the trail would be on a mountain bike.

Three people on mountain bikes passed by.

Was I the only kid who had the game Jet Moto 2? Because the saltpans were straight out of one of the race courses. Built from clay, terraces of white sitting against a backdrop of red.

I finally reached Tarabamba after five hours’ walking. I caught a combi back to Urubamba, with visions of a big dinner in my head.

Then the power went out.

Not a light was on in the whole city. I was told it would be fixed in ten minutes. Four hours later, nothing. By now, it was approaching 9 PM. Restaurants would be closing. Anything in their refrigerators would be close to spoiling. I opted to fast until morning.

Then the power came on.

Presented with this new information, would I have the discipline to go through with fasting?

I haven’t eaten in eighteen hours. Time for breakfast.


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