Ingapirca and Tiestos–A day around Cuenca

16 07 2012

The day started out with a great plan:  We were going to take the bus out to Ingapirca to see the Inca ruins, but after taking a crowded taxi to the bus station from our hostel, we learned that, being Good Friday, the bus company that goes more or less directly there was closed!  Uh oh!  Time for plan B.  We considered taking one of the buses that goes “close” which would require a transfer… Of course we all had visions of being robbed, left on the side of the road, etc. so that wasn’t going to work very well.  Plan C!  Mrs Dragonspeed suggested we ask a taxi how much. 

“Seriously?” I asked.

Well, long story short, we took a cab for the 2 hour ride to Ingapirca in a Hyundai designed to hold 5 people total.  Of course the challenge was we had 5 PASSENGERS, so I sat in the front with the driver while the 4 smaller people in our group sat in the space of 3 in the back.  It was, to say the least, a bit crowded.  We had negotiated to pay $60USD for the return trip and have the driver wait for about an hour while we wandered about the ruins. He was a really nice gentleman that kept trying to explain the various neighbourhoods to us as we went along.  I flipped pages in my Spanish/English Lonely Planet book as quickly as possible to keep up! 

The ruins were very interesting, but one of the really cool parts of the day was to pass a Good Friday procession on the way there, and then to be surrounded by one on the way back!

When we got back to Cuenca, we went for a “Lupper” to Tiesto’s as recommended by a friendly American tourist who said that it was the number 1 rated restaurant in Cuenca. We would have been fools if we didn’t go!  Juan Pablo, the Chef/Owner created a masterful meal for us, complete with desserts that weren’t even on the menu!  Five of us ate like kings for $100 total.  It was a pricey meal by Ecuadorian standards, but amazing value by North American standards!

Here are some of the pictures of the day.


Travelling on a good Friday has you passing some interesting scenes:
Travelling on a Good Friday has its drawbacks

A procession heading up to Ingpirca:
Good Friday Procession

Nothing like finding yourself in the MIDDLE of a Good Friday procession!
A peacful mob?

The five of us at the Ingapirca archeological complex:
In the foosteps of historry

The Temple of the Sun dominates the Ingapirca complex.
The Archeological complex of Ingapirca

Inca Face.  Natural? Man made?  Divine?  I dunno, but It’s cool that it has been in the side of the mountain for hundreds if not thousands of years.
The inca face - Ingapirca

Food at Tiesto’s.  Tenderloin in a Mushroom sauce.
Tiesto's in Cuenca

Meringue dessert made just for me.  Love the hand painted “syrup flowers” on the plate.
Tiesto's in Cuenca

The meals came with an assortment of side dishes.  You could have as much of these as you wanted, if you weren’t already satiated by the fantastic beef and prawns!
 Tiesto's in Cuenca

The full set of photos from the day can be seen at:

I hope you enjoy your virtual visit to Cuenca and Ingapirca!

Birds from our last day on the Galapagos Islands

16 07 2012

Our last morning in the Galapagos had us cruise around the islands of Daphne Major and Dapne Minor. One last chance to see a few more of the beautiful species in the Galapagos.

1) Next the tortoise, one of the iconic symbols of the Galapagos

Blue-footed Booby (Sula nebouxii) by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

2) Blue-Footed Booby on the wing

Blue-footed Booby (Sula nebouxii) by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

3) Brown Noddy – finally not hiding under a cliff!

Brown Noddy (Anous stolidus) by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

4) Red-billed Tropicbird

Red-billed Tropicbird (Phaethon aethereus) by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

5) Brown Noddies in the surf.

Brown Noddies fishing. by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

6) The island of Dapne Minor

The sheer cliffs of Daphne minor by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

7) And a big mechanical bird with Daphne Major (left) and Daphne Minor (right) in the background.

Lining up to Leave by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

The day’s photos can be seen here:…th/7578664538/

Our cruise through the Galapagos was 8D7N and took us to many interesting places. For sheer volume of birds, Genovesa was amazing with the breeding red-footed boobies and nazca boobies as well as Frigatebird colony and swallow-tail gulls.

I understand that some of the southern islands, if you time it right, you get to see the waved albatross, but we had to make SOME compromises. An amazing insight into this little group of volcanic islands that grew up away from the rest of us.

I hope you’ve all enjoyed the various photos I posted over the past month of the incredible birds on these islands.

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