Ingapirca ancient ruins
Ingapirca Travel Blog› entry 25 of 92 › view all entries
A day trip from Cuenca I visited the Inca and Cañari ruins at Ingapirca. These are described as the most important and largest ruins of this type in Ecuador, and date from about 1400 AD. They are pretty well-preserved and set in excellent landscape, whilst llamas are allowed to roam freely around the site. The main building was used as a sophisticated calendar with holes cut in walls allowing the sun to enter at different angles which indicated not just days but the important religious dates of the solstices and equinoxes. This main area was built as an oval shape as these cultures understood that the earth rotated around the sun in an eliptical manner a fair bit before our Western cultures did! Unfortunately not everything was overwhelmingly enlightened in this culture - for example, it was a matriachy where women ruled (no this is not my criticism!) and when the princess died 10 other young women were chosen to be buried alive in a foetal position as sacrifices having been fed some sort of hallucinogenic drug.
Instead of just taking the bus back to Cuenca, I then decided to take a walk that my guidebook handily stated was clearly signed along the main road. It didn´t mention though that there were two ´main´roads and of course I took the wrong one and walked about 9km in the hope that the village (which I always convinced myself was just the oter side of this next hill) was Cañar from where I could easily catch a bus to Cuenca. It wasn´t, it was El Tombes, but fortunately a short while after my arrival (and deflation at the prospect at having to walk back) a bus pulled up alongside me, shouted ´Cuenca, and I escaped!