Trip Start Jan 07, 2010
Trip End Jan 28, 2010

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Where I stayed
Hostal Colonial

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Ingapirca Jan 18

We asked several people where to catch the bus to Tambo, the closest town to Ingapirca. The consensus seemed to be that we had to taxi up to the Panamericana highway rather than catch it at the corner in Alausi where we got off of the previous bus. We still don't know the right answer because when we eventually saw the bus (and almost missed it) as it was heading down the hill to where it had stopped on the previous trip.

In Tambo, with the help of local people and a bit of arm waving, we were told where to stand to catch the bus to Ingapirca. It soon arrived and we enjoyed watching school kids and local farmers hop on and off the bus on its 8 km journey. One lady got on with two children, loads of food, and a chain saw.

We walked from the touristy town of Ingapirca to the entrance of the Ingapirca ruins and met Emanuel our guide. He was great. He was a quiet young adult, who struggled in English but was obviously in love with the history of the place and well schooled. Apparently, the area was inhabited by the Caņari people. Then the Inca's overran the place and built these stone structures with religious as well as astronomical significance. The astronomy was used to determine planting times for the crops. The Caņaries deified the moon and the Inca's worshiped the sun so they combined forces and worshiped both after the invasion. The stone work is impressive and included niches in the walls that were narrower at the top (trapezoidal). The theory is that it is a more stable shape that can withstand earthquakes better. Some stonework fitted so well that there is no room for a piece of paper in between. Other structures used an early form of mortar made of mud and fibre. The building of the complex took approximately 50 years and then the Spanish came along and overran the Incas. They used some of the stones to build churches. Our guide Emanuel was a descendant of the Caņaries, Incas and Spanish. I resisted the urge to ask him where dead Caņaries go.

We then bussed back to Tambo and on to Cuenca, a more modern city and an example of the Columbian era. We stayed at the appropriately named Hostel Colonial.
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