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Once were Gondwanan

Ingapirca, Ecuador

ECUADOR | Sunday, 18 December 2011 | Views [1673]

While I was in the Cuenca region I wanted to visit Ingapirca, Inca ruins that were built by Huayna Capac when the Cañaris were conquered in the late 15th century. I had planned to go there on my way to Cuenca; but after arriving in Cañar (from where Ingapirca is reached)  in the middle of the night with no taxis in sight and no accommodation booked, I decided to continue on to Cuenca and return later.

The three hour each-way journey to Ingapirca & back was a highlight of the day, really. The range of buses and the service they provide is varied and usually interesting, particularly on the local buses, where there is always someone selling something and everyone just crowds on – no need to worry about seat allocations. I went by bus from Cuenca via Cañar (10 cents to pass through the gate to reach the bus, $4 for the ticket), changed bus to Ingapirca, ($1) and then walked the short distance from the township to the site. The scenery on the way was quite spectacular, with steep mountainsides and lots of mist.

When I arrived at Ingapirca at 1.00, I was told at the entrance that there was a direct bus back to Cuenca at 4, which was a bit more time that I needed, but at least I could get directly back home.

There was a light drizzle, but not too much to spoil looking  around Ingapirca, but enough that I didn’t want to risk doing the extra trail in case I was stuck in the rain & had to wait around in wet clothes for the rest of the day. Ingapirca took about an hour, it was well signed in Spanish, English & (I assume) Cechua. There was a lot of information which was well-explained. The alpaca on the hill (either coincidentally or as a nod toward Machu Picchu, where they also graze) were a nice touch.

When I had finished looking around the ruins, I visited the on-site museum (in Spanish  only) which was small but interesting.

I had lunch at a restaurant ($1.50 for a set two course meal, they obviously haven’t caught on to the idea that at a tourist spot you’re supposed to charge an arm & a leg) which was quite nice. By this time I was a bit cold and had nothing much else to do.

I filled in time going around the museum as many times as I could bear it, and when it was nearly four I asked at the desk if the bus in the car park was the one going to Cuenca. I was then informed that there was no 4 o’clock bus (even though I had twice asked that the schedule on the wall was correct and assured that there was a 4 o’clock bus) because it was Sunday (sign said nothing about the days.)

By then I was then a bit concerned I would be stuck at Ingapirca or Cañar overnight with no clean clothes or anywhere booked to stay, but I was able to get a bus back to Cañar and then straight way to Cuenca (both buses half the price that they were coming to Ingapirca.)Everyone was really friendly and helpful showing me where to catch the right bus. One guy even gave me directions in English. Drama averted, safely back in Cuenca, ready to visit Pumapungo tomorrow.

Tags: ecuador, ingapirca, south america, travel

 

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