Our next stop was Ingapirca, an Inca-Canari archaeological site. My guide David shared interesting facts about the history of the area along with details of the exceptional stonecutting done by the Incas.
Beneath the stones of this sundial is a tomb with the remains of a woman surrounded by a dozen other bodies and several gifts.
Nobody really knows how the Incas were able to cut the stones in this structure in such straight lines.
We spent a quiet night at the Country Inn La Posada Ingapirca.
I had such a hard time with this key – it was the only way to lock/unlock my room from both the inside and the outside.
Ingapirca was a chilly place to stay, but there was a space heater in my room and after dinner they gave us hot water bottles to take back and keep us warm at night – it felt wonderful!
From Ingapirca we drove to Cuenca for a few relaxing days. I enjoyed being able to walk around the old town area of Cuenca and view the architecture in this UNESCO World Heritage Site. There was a lovely coffee shop across from my hotel where I was able to sit outside, listen to great music, and enjoy a glass of wine with dinner.
I learned the process for making Panama hats at the Homero Ortega company, and the fact that Panama hats actually originated in Ecuador, not Panama.
This is staged to depict women in the countryside who hand weave the hats between their other chores of caring for the home & children. I saw scenes very similar to this as we were driving into Cuenca.
Buffing the hats once they are received at the factory
Once of several machines that size and shape the hats once they have been washed and dried.
Final products ready for sale. The costs vary from around $30 for a hat that can be made in about two months to over $1000 for the tighter weave which can take up to 8 months to make.