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World Travels.....South America... ..Ecuador fe..Educador Murals..

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  MARTIN
Mmmmm . . . Llapingachos.........

INGAPIRCA, ECUADOR ...Y There was an unplanned stop along the road on the trip towards Ingapirca.  It was delicious and unexpected. At a roadside diner a we saw a whole pig in the process of being flame roasted, and not in the usual manner.  It was kind of a blow torch used to char the skin black.  Then portions of that burnt skin were sliced off as customers ordered.  The skin was tossed but the layer of crispy fat underneath was a treat.  Well, it wasn't for me.  I gave it to two Ecuadorian ladies who were just so thrilled to have extra - about as thrilled as I was to get rid of it.  The rest of my little dish had roasted corn nuts, bits of pork and my treasured llapingachos (potato patties).

It wasn't far to Ingapirca, the Inca Wall.  The area was built upon a site of the Cañari people who inhabited the area before the Incas.  They worshiped the moon and traditionally had a queen.  The Incas worshipped the sun, and their king united the people by marrying one of those powerful women.

 
MARTIN
The Temple of the Sun at Ingapirca.........

Near the entrance of the grounds was the Temple of the Moon.  Cañari architecture was traditionally round.  And, in the Temple of the Moon there was a round gravesite.  Apparently, when the queen died, all of her helpers were killed along with her so her afterlife would be easier.  My guess is the royal court wished her a long and happy life.

At the highest end of the grounds was the Temple of the Sun.  Inca architecture was built with amazing precision.  Rocks were cut to shape and placed so tightly that not even a piece of paper could slip between.  There was no mortar.  This temple was no exception.  Unlike most Inca architecture that was geometric and square, the Temple of the Sun in Ingapirca is oval.  This makes archeologists believe it was constructed on top of a previous Cañari temple.

MARTIN
The "Real" Calendar

Neither of the temples was my favorite thing at the ruins.  There were a few rocks that had unusual holes carved into them.  My guide asked what they could be.  I suggested they were to hold Coke bottles, the sacred drink of the Incas.  It was a good guess, but in spite of a lot of advertisement, that wasn't "the real thing". 

The real thing was a calendar.  The Cañari observed the stars and tracked their course over the year.  Those holes had water in them.  A star might reflect in one hole in January and reflect in another hole a few months later.  Each calendar had 13 holes.  A lunar cycle is 28 days.  Here's a simple math lesson for you, 13 x 28 = 364 days.  My guess is the Cañari were pretty good at what they did.

We saw more rocks with holes carved into them.  There were rocks that held poles in them to support buildings as well as holes carved for locks in the walls.  Other rocks looked like rectangular benches with a hole at each end.  I thought it was for a place to put your Coke bottle when you rested from moving all those other rocks.  Again, I was wrong.

MARTIN
Copyright 2011 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.

 

 

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