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Sunday, 28 September 2008

Itching for Ingapirca - Page 3

Written by Tyrel Nelson
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I had to get out of Cuenca. The six days of entrance exams (prospective students at my language school had to take an oral/written placement test prior to course registration) that I had just endured left me exhausted. I couldn’t bear to look at another language book or study guide – I needed a break. In my desperate search for a sound mind, I set out that Saturday morning in early January with two goals set before me: leave behind the frustrating Christmas vacation duties at Centros de Estudios Interamericanos (CEDEI) and make my first trip to the Cañar province. The Cañar province was a tiny, mountainous region just north of Cuenca. It held Ecuador’s most notable set of ruins, Ingapirca, and I was more than ready to make the trip.

Itching for Ingapirca, Ingapirca ruins, Ecuador, travel Ecuador, living in Ecuador, Pilaloma, Temple of the Sun, The Castle, Cañar province, Ingañan, Cañari ruins, Inca ruins, El Tambo, Cuencan Spanish, Centros de Estudios Interamericanos, Tyrel NelsonFinally, I reached the centerpiece of the Ingapirca ruins: the Temple of the Sun, also known as ‘The Castle.’  Rubbing my hand across the rounded blocks of the two-story formation, I couldn't help but be fascinated with the precise cuts and extraordinary placement of the Incan carved stones.  I had never seen anything like it and was amazed to be in the very presence of something so timeless.  I ascended the steps of the impressive structure, exploring its second floor and the remains of the house-like edifice centered on the rooftop.  The all-encompassing view atop the archaeological site was one I was sure would stay with me forever.  Itching for Ingapirca, Ingapirca ruins, Ecuador, travel Ecuador, living in Ecuador, Pilaloma, Temple of the Sun, The Castle, Cañar province, Ingañan, Cañari ruins, Inca ruins, El Tambo, Cuencan Spanish, Centros de Estudios Interamericanos, Tyrel NelsonAs the ever-increasing mountain winds continued to give me goose bumps, I gazed at the skeletons of what used to be 2-meter-high walls, zigzagging and snaking their way across the ancient grounds.  It was fun trying to imagine what the settlement looked like centuries ago, first under Cañari, then Inca, and, lastly, Spanish rule. 

Itching for Ingapirca, Ingapirca ruins, Ecuador, travel Ecuador, living in Ecuador, Pilaloma, Temple of the Sun, The Castle, Cañar province, Ingañan, Cañari ruins, Inca ruins, El Tambo, Cuencan Spanish, Centros de Estudios Interamericanos, Tyrel NelsonBelow ‘The Castle’, I retraced my steps across the grassy hillside, snapping pictures of what I had missed earlier. I soaked in a few last panoramas of the historic valley and headed for the exit, breathing a gratifying sigh of content, happy I had decided to make the trip.

Despite the pleasure my trip to Ingapirca brought me, as I approached the idling bus, I became queasy. I went through a silo's worth of sunflower seeds on my trip away from the archaic site and knew it wasn’t my lack of moderation that had my stomach tied in knots.

With my short escape behind me, only one thought lay heavy on my mind: another week of placement exams waiting for me back at the school.

©Tyrel Nelson

(Page 3 of 3)
Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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