http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vilcabamba,_Ecuador"target="_blank">Vilcabamba Info From Wiki
Up for nice brkfst on roof top of Hotel Milan then walk 2 blocks to bus stop for #18 bus to terminal. Bus left at 10 am for Loja. Great ride high in Andies mtns (up to 6,000mtrs = 19,000 feet+), curving up and down thru sm villages & picturesque indigenous folk...wear all black - even men w/ black pants. At the terminal we decided (since it's early - 3 pm) to go to Vilcabamba. Also, got onward tickets on bus into Peru for Sunday (6 am).
Arr in Vilcabamba 4:30pm and nice fellow directs us to Hostel ' Las Margaritas'. The 12 yr old daughter(?), Heidi, does all the ckg in work, no one else around. I'm impressed! Then walk about town...cute, our-size town, pop 700 +, nice town plaza. Seems to be "The Place", tucked into mtns. in a sleepy valley which is awakening to influx of tourists and expats (real estate offices on central plaza tell it all - kind of too bad but...!) Reminds me of Todos Santos, MX history but this place is in better shape street-wise. Also, no Cabo San Lucas nearby! Met Norie Huddle & Richard Wheeler at local cafe...long talk about Rolfing and alternative methods to solve/address world problems thru life changing living/self evaluation techniques as well. Both from US originally but now (past 2 yrs) looking to develop place on 300 + acres of land outside town...kind of wellness center and development of community. Both in 60's, quite energetic!Visit Their WebsiteUpdate:
Their latest Newsletter shows a lot of progress since we visited them. We were sad to hear that they closed their restaurant in town tho! Ah, life goes on!
Switched to Hotel Jardin Escondido
because the promise of hot water did not materialize at Las Margaritas, and the morning breakfast was not only paltry but the girl was down right surly acting as tho we were interfering w/ her morning somehow.
Went to internet, read, and spent eve w/ a group of folks who live here and others traveling just like us. Very interesting discussions and fine Indian meal.
Visited Norie and Richard´s place out of town...beautiful views, incredible amount of work in just 2 years...but then they want to help humanity save itself and don´t have much time!!! Enjoyed the walk about and seeing/hearing of their life´s endeavors...very busy people. Hit the road for Loja and then tomor bus to Peru (6 am), 8 hrs plus!!!