Monday, 8 June 2009

Ecuador - Vilcabamba

Saying goodbye to the Peruvian beaches was hard as we had grown accustomed to the days of swimming, reading and eating but we knew we had some great things ahead in Ecuador.

Today we were celebrating our second last over night bus….at this stage we really felt our patience was on its last legs with regards to night buses. We arrived at the Ecuador border about 1am which was a complete shambles. There was no understanding by anyone (travelers or staff) on the process of leaving Peru and entering Ecuador, none the less we made it through with only one small hiccup, Simon Passport. Simon had received a new Passport in Peru (the old one had been filled), therefore he had his entry stamp in his old passport which is now invalid, so the man was not happy in the slightest to see his new passport with no entry stamp. After much raised voices, Simon instructed him to stamp an entry and exit stamp on his new visa….Sorted!

As usual, we arrived early morning into our destination of Vilcabamba; a small town in Southern Ecuador which is mainly run by Germans/Americans. It is set in the most beautiful undulating lush hills. We had heard about this gorgeous place through other travellers for its spa resort style accommodation on backpacker prices.

With no reservation made at one of the nicest places in town Izcaluma Resort, we were happy to wait around and see if anything would become available. As luck happens, we were upgraded to the Luxury suite for the night at 20usd….bargain. Tish did some GREAT wangling with the manager to stay in the room for the next 3 nights for 40usd a night. Happy Days! This room was amazing. With 180degrees of views and glass windows to view, hammock in the bedroom, mirrors on the roof above the bed (shock horror!) it was heaven.

A cheeky massage for us both and a facial for Tish, and we were back on track after another tiresome overnight bus.

Vilcabamba is known for it’s stunning, self guided treks, so Simon and I headed off the next day. With a late start and a 4 hour hike in 30+ heat we took our time. This hike runs through some tough terrain, steep slopes but the views at this top were magnificent. Once you are at the top, it is about 1 hour of walking on the peaks of the hills with drops off each side. This trek for us was one of the most stunning, rewarding walks we have done so far.

The food, atmosphere and customer service at our resort was out of this world. Highly recommended!

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