Ingapirca, Take Two

Or “Duncan and Sandra Come to Town”

Glenn’s nephew, Duncan and his wife Sandra, of Alberta, Canada receive the award of “First North Americans to Visit the Ganos”.  Their prize was deluxe accommodations in Edificio La Glorieta (our apartment building) which included a private room, en suite bathroom, and INTERNET!  Duncan and Sandra had already been in Ecuador for more than two weeks by the time they reached our swanky digs.  The majority of that time had been spent in the beach community of Montañita at Spanish school and living with a local family with six kids.  No wonder they gave our little hostel 5 stars!  image

While the Canadian Ganos were in Cuenca, summer seemed to have put itself on hold and we experienced heavier than usual rains during the entire week they were here.  But that didn’t stop us from eating at a variety of restaurants, shopping for produce at the market, seeing the sights in El Centro and Turi, and having lots of great conversations.  After all, we had never met Sandra and the last time we saw Duncan was, at best guess, 28 years ago!

imageMidweek, Duncan, Sandra and Mara took a daytrip up to view Ingapirca, the archaeological site about two hours north of Cuenca.  Avid and attentive readers might remember that Los Gano de Cuenca already visited Ingapirca back in December of 2014.  Click on the December archives and go to the post entitled “Doctor, Doctor, Gimmee the News” (half way down the post) to refresh your memory about Ingapirca, or just ‘fresh’ it if you haven’t ever read it.

Our two and a half hour bus ride cost $2.50 each way and it rained a bit along the route.  But by the time we reached Ingapirca, the rain had stopped and we had an enjoyable walk through the ruins.  Back in December, we were unable to take the two kilometer hike behind the ruins due to two approaching thunderstorms.  Our luck was better this time.  In addition to walking through the peaceful, bucolic valley, we were able to see four rather unusual rocks connected to the site, the most impressive being “La Cara de Inca”.

The Face of the Inca.  Pretty cool, huh?
Intiwatana (or Intichunka) – “Place where the sun is bound”. This was thought to be used for various rituals and astronomical observations.
La Tortuga or the turtle rock.  Other than looking like a turtle, I don't know what its purpose was.
La Tortuga or the turtle rock. Other than looking like a turtle, I don’t know what its purpose was.
Intinawi or "Face of the Sun"
Intinawi or “Face of the Sun”

As interesting as these rocks and rock formations are, the views of the farms, fields and animals were the best part to me.  Ingapirca is an important archaeological site and is visited by many tourists each year.  But it is home to the Cañari people whose families have most likely lived there for generations.  Here are some of the views we enjoyed.

The Cow Whisperers. Duncan and Sandra were cattle ranchers in Manitoba for several years so they have a special affinity to the many cows in Ecuador.

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And just in case you didn’t get enough pictures of the actual ruins from our previous post, here are some more.

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As we waited for our bus, we enjoyed a $2 almuerzo while the rain poured down.  Thanks, Duncan and Sandra, for letting me tag along on your trip to Ingapirca so I could take that hike!  The Canadian Ganos have now moved on to explore other parts of Ecuador.

And Los Gano de Cuenca stay busy with Spanish class twice a week, Cuenca International Chorale rehearsals, helping lead music at Cuenca Christian Church, eating out with friends, and living the retired life.  It’s pretty awesome.

cuenca floods
Picture from posted January 19, 2015.

Here’s What We’ve Learned:  Good weather doesn’t last forever!  We had enjoyed several weeks with very little rain and beautiful sunny days during December and most of January.  That all ended on Saturday, January 18 when we had the most intense rain we had ever experienced.  The rain came down, or should we say sideways, in sheets causing our four rivers to rise near to the tops of their banks, flash flooding on many city streets, and the need to mop up water entering our closed windows.  Since then, rain and thunderstorms have been the norm each day.

Here’s What We Need to Learn:  Past tense Spanish verbs.  Living in the present only goes so far.

So who is going to be our second guest from North America?  Second place prize is just as good as first.

One of our frequent fliers! Thanks to Duncan’s patience, he got this shot of one of our four colibris (hummingbirds) that visit our feeder many times a day.

If you like our blog, and we hope you do, please “follow” us if you haven’t already done so.  You will receive an automatic email every time a new post is published.  You can also “like” our blog and “share” it with friends who you think might enjoy reading about our retirement to Cuenca, Ecuador.  And of course, please feel free to comment, ask questions, or offer suggestions of what we topics we should cover in our posts.  Here’s a little bonus picture for reading all the way to the end of the post!


4 thoughts on “Ingapirca, Take Two

  1. Glenn and Mara, we love the posts. I have communicated with you before, I am Garry Kaulitz from Anchorage and I had your contact information but unfortunately my iPad was stolen and the info was on it.
    Anyway we are in Cuenca and have been since Mon. but was waiting for a post so I could get in touch with you.
    I will be here until Mar.1, however my wife, Kathy, will be retuning to AK on the 3rd of Feb. as she is still “gainfully employed” (that will end soon).
    We are very seriously considering Cuenca as a new home, as we have fallen in love with Ecuador but most particularly Cuenca.
    We hope we can get to meet you and pick your minds on Cuenca life other than what you have published. You can reach me at or on my cell 09 901 26768.


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