Added 19 Nov 2014

Today we visit a historical Inca Canari site called INGAPIRCA. We drive approximately two hours north of Cuenca. We are feeling lucky! The skies are blue and the sun is shining brightly. It is a wonderfully scenic drive through the valleys and over the mountain ranges between the Andes. The fields are lush and green. The agriculture is clearly successful. Dairy farmers prosper here and there are plenty of potato fields too. Some of the land has been cultivated on steep slopes and we spot ploughing by Ox and also a tractor ploughing at 45 degrees downhill. Not for the feint hearted!

Fernando and Franco take us on a walking tour of Ingapirca. The ruins were originally built in the 15th century on a highway from Quito to Cusco and the quality of the stonework indicates Ingapirca was an important place. From the centrepiece Temple of the Sun we enjoy magniificent all round views.

Lunch is included at a nearby Posada located up a narrow hill above Ingapirca. Some of us walk up the hill, but we arrange some taxi transport as well. Local taxis are pick-up vans with 4 seats inside and an open deck at the back. On the second taxi trip Richard is surprised to see the pick-up van arriving at the restaurant packed full of guests, both inside and out! 

Lunch comprises a tasty quinoa soup, trout and a tree-tomato dessert, complimented by (rather large) beers, wine or soft drinks. Suffice to say we stagger downhill to rejoin Neptali and our coach for the journey home to Cuenca, The weather remains sunny and clear although we fear quite a few clients missed some of the scenery on the way back and enjoyed a snooze instead.

Buffet dinner this evening featured a selection of typical dishes and we dined well (yet again!). After dinner, a few guests decided to explore the Cuenca nightlife. They had heard about a Salsa dancing class at the nearby Café Eucalyptus. However it was all over and done with by the time they arrived. There is also a film festival in town. Large cinema screens are set up in some of the town plazas. Guess what? The films are over by the time we arrive! We decide to take a walk around the main square instead and then head back to our hotel. The local council are cleaning the pavements with powerful water hoses and we nearly get a free shower. All in all, a most successful after-dinner outing!