After yesterday's visit to the ruins of Pisac and Ollantaytambo in the Valle Sagrado (north of Cusco), today Jesus and I continued this weekend's ruin-seeking crusade, by heading south of Cusco, to the town and the Incan ruins of Tipón. Although I was still recovering from yesterday's lethal buffet lunch, I was well enough today to make it to these ruins, and to appreciate the ingenious work that the Incas carried out here, hundreds of years ago.
The town and some of the ruins of Tipón, as seen from the very top.
As you can see, the setup for Tipón is similar to that for Pisac (i.e. the ruins are a long way uphill from the town), only even more so. And today, Jesus and I were even less inclined to make an arduous trek up a mountain (yeh, I know — despite all the ruins, it's turned into a very lazy weekend!). So once again, it was up to the ruins themselves via shared taxi.
Tipón is famous for being the site of an ancient Incan irrigation system. It's quite ingenious what they did around here: they completely redirected a nearby mountain stream, and constructed a series of stone waterways and waterfalls, to water the crops in the complex, and to provide running water for drinking and sanitation. As with Pisac, it's all grass now — but back in the day, the site was covered in local vegies.
Ancient irrigation system at Tipón.
Although I was the sick (but recovering) one, today Jesus was the (only) hung-over one; so Jesus decided to go to sleep on the grass, in the main part of the Tipón ruins, while I continued climbing and exploring the hillside that rises up and that overlooks the site. I went a fair way up, and from several vantage points, I got a great view of the ruins sprawled out below.
Ruins of Tipón, as seen from the lookout mountain above.
As well as being an impressive set of ruins, Tipón is also a great, grassy place to relax and to hang out on a sunny day. With their free entry, plenty of local families were camped out here for a Sunday picnic. Jesus and I decided to join in the chilling and the relaxation: after I returned from my mountainside exploration, we had a good, long, and very close game of chess on the grass (Jesus won this time).