We took another road trip with our now friend Efrain yesterday. This one was to visit a couple of Inca ruins. A most interesting and informative little trip. And it had the added benefit of providing us with a great cardiovascular workout. Well, everyone except the Mysterious Chinese Woman, whose little piston-like legs never seem to give in.
We Climbed To The Top
Okay, we didn't start at the bottom, I will grant you that. But we still had to do a fair amount of climbing to get from where we parked the car to the top.
And Here We Are, At The Top
Here Is Our Guide, Efrain
Efrain is very knowledgeable about Inca history and it was fun to listen to him explain stuff to us while we could actually see some of what he was talking about. When we got to the top of the mountain where the ruins were he explained how it commanded a sweeping view of the surrounding landscape so enemies could be seen from afar. Then he had us just listen and you could hear dogs barking and roosters crowing in the town way below. It brought home how the Incas could not only see, but also hear, if any enemies were trying to sneak up.
The Village Down Below
Efrain showed us the ruins of a typical Inca house and explained how all of the houses had doors that faced east so the morning sun would illuminate it.
Typical Inca House
The inside of the house had mumerous niches where various ornamental ceramics were displayed and the niche immediately facing the door would hold something made of gold. That way when the sun reflected off of it the whole house (it was a small house) would be illuminated.
They Have Found There Niche
I Found Mine As Well
This next picture give you a bit of an idea of the layout of the town or settlement, but of course it is just a small part of what the actual settlement must have looked like.
A View From Above
There was a much newer simple shelter put up on top to provide some protection from the rain. And believe me, it can be sunny one minute, raining the next, and bright sun again a few minutes later. Efrain said it was a tradition for those who climbed to the top to inscribe their names on one of the wooden beams. And who are we to break tradition.
Proof That We Were Here
And Proud Of It, Too
And just so you don't think this was just a walk in the park, here is the gentle part of the path we took.
No Walk In The Park
This was just the first, and the smaller, of the two ruins we were to visit. But on the way to the next we stopped at a little roadside place for some pigskin.
No Greater Love Than To Give Up One's Skin
That is Efrain in the background chatting up the proprietress. Efrain seems to know everyone.
They had a lot of interesting things to eat here, sausages, a stew, and who knows what else.
All Kinds Of Good Stuff
We got not only the pigskin but also some succulent pieces of pork, that puffy corn like pozale and a couple of potato dumplings. It was plenty for the three of us and Efrain treated.
Fresh Off The Pig
And then it was off to our next stop, the second largest ruins in South America, second only to Machu Picchu.
Ingapirca, Here We Come
But that visit will have to wait for my next post.