Feels like we haven’t posted for ages so here is how our last week or so in Ecuador went.
Ingapirca is the biggest known Inca site in Ecuador and is sometimes billed as their Machu Picchu. Perhaps not as dramatic and definitely not as well known but interesting and a whole lot emptier than MP! The site is actually on the original Inca Royal Road which linked Cusco to Quito back in the day. Although much of the road has been buried or built on there is still a 40km stretch of Inca Trail in Ecuador.
Clever mortarless Inca building technique.
The Inca Temple of the Sun.
There was a small car park with nice loo’s and security guards so at $3 dollars pp entrance fee including an English speaking guide and free camping it was a bargain excursion.
We were heading into Cuenca which is the 3rd largest city in Ecuador but on the way wanted to spend a couple of days in the Cajas National Park. We only lasted one night, the weather was so cold, wet and gloomy. The plan was to do some trout fishing in one of the many lakes but it really was miserable weather although still very pretty scenery.
Cuenca is pretty and after a day walking the city we found a really nice Indian restaurant, what a bonus! Boy have we missed curry.
The main reason for our visit here was some van enhancements. John had sketched some roof bars and a basket and we found a recommended workshop to make them for us.
Juan and his team (with some supervision from John ?) did a great job. We are now ready to carry fuel for any shortages and long stretches without fuel stations that we may encounter, especially in Bolivia.
It turned out another modification was needed as John’s only pair of glasses snapped clean in two across the bridge. Glue didn’t work but we found an optician who managed to drill both sides and pin them back together. A pretty sturdy fix, fingers crossed it lasts until we get home.
Negra was our campsite pet, very friendly and like most Labs constantly on the look out for food. We camped under an advocado tree and she liked to eat the skin and fruit then crunch up the stones and leave them for us to step on!
We were heading towards the most easterly and smallest border crossing into Peru at La Chonta.
It was a Sunday so on the way we stopped at the small town of Saraguro, it was market day which is attended by local Kitchwa people.
John had been looking for a machete and managed to get the size and type he wanted at the market. I really should have taken a photo of him with it then but forgot. So this is him today unfortunately suffering from a bit of a tummy bug. He doesn’t usually sleep with it next to him I just placed it there for effect!
A simple, strighforward, no fuss, no queue and no Welcome to Peru signed border crossing.
We have loved Ecuador, the scenery, wildlife and great people we have met. They will shortly be going through the 2nd round of a General Election as the 1st round didn’t give a conclusive result. Elections here are notoriously corrupt but we hope for the sake of the people the current ruling party are not re-elected. At the moment the citizens pay ridiculously high taxes on goods and property, areas that have been effected by natural disasters are not prioritised for regeneration and huge amounts of cash disappear from public funds. We wish them luck.