• Linda

And It's a Wrap

We're leaving tonight. It doesn't seem like we've been here for almost two months. Despite our abysmal Spanish, Cuenca has been an easy city to manage. It's easy to see why so many North Americans choose to live here. Holly returned from the US and took Oliver to his new home a couple of days ago. The house seems so quiet witout his antics.

Our long-time friend, Dennis, arrived for a short visit before taking off on his travels around South America. We took him up to Turi. After getting this pic at the overlook we walked up the road a bit to an "adventure park. To fully experience the adventure we would have had to be 40 years younger and oblivious to safety concerns. But we had a nice chat with a couple of young men and paid $1 each to take a cable funicular back down to the road. Straight down to the road!

We arranged a private tour of the Ingapirca Incan Ruins on Sunday. The site is only about an hour away but Martin, our tour leader, included several stops along the way to teach us more about the country.

Atop Cojitamba, we could see across a valley. Martin pointed out a church built into the side of a mountain over there that we would see later.

Before getting there, we made a stop at a roadside food stop.Hornado, or oven roasted pig, is commonly sold at some restaurants and many mercados. But this pig was not prepared in the oven. The skin is crisped with a torch, then peeled away for cracklings. The fat is used to fry the meat and and it's served up with fried corn, boiled corn, and potato puffs. A small bowl shared among us was delicious!

The church on the mountainside has a Bavarian look about it. Built here to honor the site where, during a severe drought, priests gathered to pray for rain and the rains came. The alter is built right up against the rock mountainside.

Ingapirca includes the largest known Incan ruins in Ecuador. Incans are not native to this area. From the Peruvian highlands, they expanded their empire north, conguering indigenous peoples along the way. In the area of Ingapirca, those peoples were the were the Canari (Can-yar-ee). The Temple of the Sun is the largest ruin that can be seen. No doubt there is much more to be discovered if funds become available. The llamas roam freely so visitors like us North Americanos can see them up close.

We're out of coffee at the house, so when ML and Dennis get up, we'll probably head out for a fix. Then laundry, packing and tidying up before we head over to Victor & Susan's, where Dennis will spend the night. Mary Lynne and I will be off to Quito at 7pm and headed to Fort Lauderdale on a red-eye at 1am tomorrow. Should be in STL around 2pm tomorrow afternoon. My weather app says the high there will be 37. Not sure we're ready for that!

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