We leave the hotel promptly this morning and drive approximately two hours north to Ecuador’s most important Inca Canari site called Ingapirca. We drive through the dairy farm region, and the scenery is spectacular. On route we make a stop to see the roadside fast-food snack that is a speciality of the area … crackling from a roasted pig.  

Arriving at Ingapirca, we split into two groups. Xavier heads off with Dawn and her guests, and Franco with Richard and his party. The weather is stunning. A little breezy here and there, but some blue skies too, and when the sun catches you, it’s positively warm. The ruins we see were originally built in the 15th century on the Royal Highway that ran from Quito to Cusco and the high quality of the stonework here indicates Ingapirca was an important site.

Lunch is included at Posada Ingapirca. This restaurant is located up the hill above the Ingapirca visitor site, and it’s impossible for our coach to negotiate the road, so some of us walk and others join local taxis … which are pick-up trucks! We dine in a rustic restaurant with beautiful mountain views and spot humming birds on the feeders hanging outside. Richard and Dawn explain that our Ecuadorian hosts don’t do light snacks … lunch consists of quinoa soup, a chicken main dish and a tree tomato dessert! All complimented by wine, beers and soft drinks. As lunch finishes we head outside to meet the alpacas and feed them with carrots. Everyone should do this once in their life!

photo © Barna Tanko