Thursday, March 29, 2012

Vilcabamba, Ecuador Trip

Ever since we moved to Ecuador (it has almost been a whole year), Pat has wanted us to visit Vilcabamba, Ecuador (also known as the Valley of Longevity because people tend to live longer there).  We decided after we returned from the States after the first of year that we would try to see more of Ecuador.

So last week, we took a bus ride to Vilcabamba with George and Carol Evans (from CA Kitchen).  We started on a bus (Viaje Lines) from Cuenca to Loja.  It was supposed to take about 4 1/2 hours.  Well we arrived in Loja in just 3 1/2 hours.  Our driver practically flew through the mountains and unfortunately, my stomach paid the price.  All of us were feeling a little queasy, but I went a step further and actually got sick.  I think that trip has determined that we might be better off if we did not take bus trips a long distance.  When we arrived in Loja, we called a guy with a taxi and he picked us up in Loja and took us to Vilcabamba.

We stayed at a wonderful place called Madre Tierra.  Here are some wonderful pictures:

These are some shots from our covered terrace.

Banana Trees from our deck

From our deck you can see the dining area by the lobby.  Also check out the poinsettia tree.

Here is another shot of that poinsettia tree.  It rained most of the time that we were there, but the morning that we were leaving the sun came out and this tree was covered with different kinds of butterflies.

All of the decks had hammocks and as you can see, Pat was really enjoying himself.

And this is what he had to force himself to look at.

This is what it looked like on the last day when the sun came out.  Absolutely gorgeous!!

This was a shot further up the mountain from some of the other rooms at the hotel.  Lots of vegetation.

As we headed up the mountain of the hotel, there was a group of wild hens and baby chicks.  I don't know if you can see the wild hen in the middle of the picture.  They didn't want to have anything to do with us.

There are fruit trees all over the place, especially lime trees.  George told us that the last time they stayed there, he and Jimmy ordered a drink that needed a lime and one of boys climbed up in one of the trees and picked it fresh to use in their drinks.

These were the steps up to the other rooms.  It definitely felt like we were in the middle of the jungle.

One of the other rooms up the mountain.  Very private.

View from the top

   We had a wonderful few days there.  Pat and I taught George and Carol how to play "Uno" (the card game) and we had a blast.  We also took a taxi and visited Brian O'Leary's house (he used to be an American astronaut who moved to Vilcabamba several years ago).  He also would hold conferences about UFO's.  I think he passed away last June.  I think I will post a separate post tomorrow with pictures of his place and "downtown" Vilcabamba.  But before I go, I wanted to post a picture of Apollo (a cat that lives at Madre Tierra).

Carol, Pat & George

Carol, Me & George

He had one golden eye and one blue eye.  He was very sweet.

He was also a little scavenger who would eat whatever we gave him.

Here is a picture of George and Peter (one of the owners of Madre Tierra)

Look for my next post on the rest of our trip.  Beautiful country!!

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