Vilcabamba, land of the long living...
Trip Start Jan 12, 2006
237Trip End Ongoing
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I planned on being there one day and stayed 3. It is such a relaxing place, apparently the expected age of people there is 100+, i can honestly understand why after having been there.
I got in at 10:30pm and went staright to the bar of the hostal for a beer which turned into 3 beers and 2 caipirinhas with the barman. At 1:30am when the night was over he had not only made me drinks all night but arranged a horse ride for the next day for me!!! So i leave the bar and go to my room, grab my toothbrush and head to the loo, come back and.... i am locked out! Barman has left for home so i have to wake up the owners to let me in!!! Great start to this trip!!!
Up at midday and went for a hike to cure the hangover... what a mistake!!! Decided to climb to the summit of Mandango (1900+ mtrs). Meant to take 4-5 hours to complete, i did it in 2.5 hours. Why? Because of a storm that hit half way through so i had to run try and avoid the rain and the lightning. Needless to say i reached the bottom soaking wet, but at least i wasnt struck by the lightning!!!
HOT TIPS for travllers:
(1) Highly recommend Angel as a guide for horseriding. Centro Ecuestre 094576961.
(2) Izchayluma Hostal for accomodation (in the lonely planet). Ask the driver to drop you at the hotel door as it is 2klm from town. Can also recommend Madre Terra Hostal as you go there for a drink after the ride and it looked great. For USD$12 you get room, bfast and dinner as well as a jacusi and pool usage.
(3) Vilcabamab is 1 hour from Loja, nuses run all the time
(4) If coming from Peru i have soem tips for you for border crossing
(i)Dont take the guides who say they can save you time and get you through. No need.
(ii) Get off the bus at Aguas verdes in Peru and go through customs, expect a 30 minute wait.
(iii) When done at customs catch a moto taxi who will take you as far as he can go to he border. Will cost 1 Sole.
(iv) Ask for directions to the border, basically 4 blocks away.
(v) When you pass the ´Welcome to Ecudaor sign´take the next street on the left, this is where you will find the bus terminals.
(vi) Make sue your bus stops at immigration and will wait for you as it is 3klm from ths point. If they dont then go on ahead and tell them you will wait for them on at the immigration and they will pick you up.