“If I didn’t know better, I would have thought that we are in Ireland,” Papa said to Nona. “Why Ireland, Papa?” I asked. “Because this place has emerald-like color-tones, and brooks (really 4 rivers) trickling by with fish in the streams,” he explained.
“Well, I’ve never been to Ireland, as you know, but, if this is what Ireland is like, then take me there one day, too!” I replied.
Of course, we were in Cuenca, Ecuador, and we were standing up on the top of the Pumapungo ruins, just behind the Pumapunga Museum that I told you about.
The Cañari people created this lovely place and lived here. The Cañari people sure knew how to pick a spot to settle, didn’t they? Beautiful. They called it Guapondeieg. That was an up time. Later, the Inca people took over this place from the Cañari and changed its name from Guapondeieg to Pumapungo. That was a down time for the Cañari, but I can see why the Inca people would want it.
The Incas built a grand city here and changed the name again to Tomebamba. Unfortunately, two Inca brothers got into a hissy-fit with each other over something, and they had to go and have a civil war. The winner destroyed this whole lovely place because it was his brother’s. That was a down time at the Pumapungo site. Papa said, “Solbit, let that be a lesson to us all that war is not the answer to human disputes.”
Speaking of wars. Then the Spanish came. They and the Inca had another war. There goes the neighborhood, again. Yep, war is not the answer.
Eventually, Ecuador became independent of Spain, way back in the 1820 and became a sovereign state in 1830. Now, all these years later — centuries later, really — Ecuadorians have done a partial restoration of these ruins to give visitors and idea what it might have looked like hundreds of years ago. The idea appeals to me. How about you?
I think Uncle Josh and Aunt Tanya, the farmers in our family, would have liked living in this village and working the land, but, alas (as they say in literature), they were born about 700 years too late. I can hear you now saying, “Yeah, but his sisters, Aunt Kir and Aunt Anna, would have hated it.”
I was standing there lost in my thoughts, thinking all that, when I heard, “Solbit, wake up, let’s go see what’s up there on that terrace.” Nona pulled me out of my day dream and up the hill. We had our ups and downs too. By the time we got up to the terrace, she was out of breath — Papa too — because of the high altitude. Being a plastic Jurassic altitude doesn’t bother me one bit. Also, being carried up by Nona helps.
As we ascended the terraces, we came to an iron gate with a pad lock on it. I stopped and gasped, “Maybe I would have hated it here too! Looks like they locked people up and kept them deep underground. Yikes!
Well, underground tombs and visiting dead ancestors does sound better than underground jail cells and visiting prisoners, but I’m not sure I would want to wander deep underground to see dead people all shriveled up and bony, not even to visit dear departed Nona. No, Nona isn’t departed, I’m just speaking hypothetically to make my point that I prefer the open spaces to the confinement of underground accommodations, if you know what I mean. Above-ground cemeteries are ever so much nicer, don’t you think?
Still, this Pumapungo site helps me to try to imagine how people lived eons ago, and it helps me to appreciate the nice places where we live today. Fortunately, we haven’t gotten caught up in any wars yet in all the different places we’ve been living. We’ve been all over the world, and, you know, we haven’t bumped into anyone, yet, who says, “Gee, I’d really like to live in the rumble of a war.” Fortunately, as Papa says, peace is possible through peaceful means. We don’t have to have wars. I’m glad that’s true, but I wish it were true for everyone.
I’m your friend.
*New reader? Get oriented below.
- You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
- You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”