November 22nd and 23rd, 2011
I left Banos and headed back into the mountains, making my way generally towards the Peru border.
Of course, the scenery wasn’t all giant Jesuses
Another moto traveler stopped when I was on the side of the road taking pictures, and suggested a visit to Ingapirca. Actually, he assumed that was where I was heading and gave me a dozen brochures. He also suggested a place to stay that was nearby.
It’s a good thing the picture of the building was on the cover, since that was the only way I found the place. The road to Ingapirca isn’t exactly a main road, and this place was in something I would call an alley. But it was a small farming town and the alley’s didn’t seem all that bad. The view was nice.
This far into the middle of nowhere no one spoke English, but we still got everything figured out, and I got dinner and breakfast.
Ingapirca is called the Machu Picchu of Ecuador. It seems an Inca king died, leaving two sons behind. The elder took over, but the younger thought he could run an empire too and set off north along the coast. After a few years of bloody battles the transplanted Incans settled down, and these are the largest collection of their ruins in the country.
To be completely honest, not that impressive.
Entrance to the site included visiting a small museum, though it was entirely in Spanish so I probably didn’t get as much out of it as I could have.
I did get that all the artifacts were recovered locally. There was also a small display of the native people.
The woman in the house looked real enough to make me double take.
But I wasn’t here for the museum, so I headed off to the ruins. Guides were available but it took seconds to find out none of them spoke English, and I was left to wander on my own.
And there were Llamas
Everyone has heard about Incan stone work, and how they got stones to fit seamlessly together. Well
Not exactly seamless. Blue told me to relax.
The big building (or ruin) on the grounds was the Temple of the Sun.
Apparently, when the building wasn’t a ruin yet, on Solstices the sun would shine through a special hole in the roof of the central dome. The dome is pretty much gone now.
After exploring the ruins for a while it was time to go. I had already decided to head for the coast, to get a little lower (and warmer). So I headed for Machala. The ride was nice and I had sunshine the whole way.