From the town of Cuenca, I took a day trip to the cloud shrouded ruins of Ingapirca.
The ride was along a fantastic road...
That wound through the mountains and ascended to about 10,000 feet (3,000 meters)...
And passed by mostly farmland and a few houses.
The Canari civilization first built a city called Hatun Cañar on the site. Then toward the end of the 15th century, during the Inca expansion into present day Ecuador, the Inca built their city on top of the ruins of the Canari city and called it Ingapirca.
The site was built in the Incan imperial style of construction with a mortarless polished stone technique. This means that all the stones were carved to fit together perfectly without mortar.
The city is linked to the city of Machu Picchu via the Camino de Los Incas (The Inca Trail).
This area contained some excavated tombs.
This double semi-circle formation represented both the sun and the moon. Those are llamas grazing on the grass.
There was a sun temple...
That actually functioned as a sun dial.
And this was some form of solar or lunar calendar. It's a mystery as to how it actually functioned.
Outside of the grounds of the ruins was this stone pathway...
That lead to this rock formation...
Called the Cara del Inca (Inca Face). I passed it completely when I was walking down the trail, but then looked back and saw the profile of the face. This is a natural stone feature in the side of the mountain and was not carved.
In August 2011, I purchased a new 2011 Suzuki DR650 motorcycle for a trip through South America. The engine, exhaust, chassis and suspension have been maintained in the original (stock) configuration. This approach was chosen to increase reliability and facilitate repair or replacement of items with original parts while traveling. The modifications were only made to the motorcycle to add durability, safety, comfort and protection. The prices listed below were the original costs of the items. The prices are listed to serve as a reference point for the cost of the build.
Many of you that follow this blog know that I really enjoy hiking, camping and backpacking. Whether it is camping in the front country or back country... it is all good.
I recently came across a resource that has really made it easier for me to research and plan my trips. The website, app and community are called TheDyrt. "The Dirt" is an idiom which means the gossip or real story. So getting TheDyrt is a play on words which translates to finding out the real story about campgrounds.
TheDyrt.com website allows users to search for campgrounds in the U.S. (currently only available within the U.S.) and read user generated reviews of the campgrounds. Sometimes the reviews are very general and sometimes very specific - down to the campsite number or cleanliness of the facilities. The website markets itself and its service as the Yelp.com of camping.
Some friends and I took a trip to The Narrows on the Blanco River in Texas. It is a gem.
However getting there was no easy task.
This trip is physically, logistically and legally challenging. The Narrows is on the Blanco River, but is surrounded by private property. There is no trail. The route traverses dry riverbed, sand, rocks, brush and water. The journey can take between 12 to 16 hours, cover 6 to 8 miles in and 6 to 8 miles out and may require swimming 1 to 3 miles in and 1 to 3 miles out depending on the flow of the river. The route and conditions may vary at different times of the year. One must be prepared and equipped for self-rescue, there is no cellular service near the access points nor along the river.
There are two ways to access The Narrows. 1. Obtain permission from one of the property owners with land bordering the river. Or, 2. Access the river via a public right of way and hike and swim the entire route. Texas Navigation Law specifies access to inland and coastal …