Saturday, February 16, 2008

I Don't Like Me Here!

Cuenca - Loja

Well we were up with the rooster (which has awakened us every day since we left Cuenca) and off to Loja. So far in our trip we've encountered hardly any bugs. It's our understanding that'll change once we get to the low lands however. Our count for road kill (discounting the many dogs) is now up to 2 cows and 1 pig. The long distance bus ride was per usual; windy roads, heart stopping drop offs, loud Spanish rap or 80's musak, blaring vendors selling us CDs or juice. We bought deep fried banana chips to tide us over this time. Very good!

When Shelley was a kid her family had a saying "I don't like me here" based on an old story about her Grandpa refusing to get out of the car at a camp ground they thought they might stay at. He wrapped his arms around himself stating "I don´t like me here". That's exactly the sentiment Brian expressed when we hit Loja. He didn't like the cab ride into our hotel, he didn't like our hotel, he didn't like the way people bumped into us in the street and we couldn't find cappuccino (Instant Nescafe is common here - they think it's a treat!). So as a consequence instead of staying the three days we planned, we checked out first thing the next morning and came to Vilcabamba.

While in Loja however we encountered for the first time an Ecuadorian electrical outlet. Shelley had bought a special converter which up to this point we hadn't had to use.

General Aside: Heinz ketchup would make a killing in this country. Their ketchup is full of cornstarch and shiny!

Loja- Vilcabamba

We are here for a week. This is the spot that the travel guides and all of the on-line information claims is the most popular place for ex pats in the country. It is absolutely beautiful but definitely a one horse town (maybe 3). Coming down, down, down the mountain from Loja you could feel everything getting warmer and the vegetation getting lusher. Lots of palms, banana trees, succulents and flowering plants. Like everywhere in Ecuador there's corn growing in every spot available. We found out there are about 150 ex-pats living in the area, and have spoken to several of them. The pace of life is very very slow. Walking around the town there are chickens everywhere (all free range chickens in Ecuador), many birds are tweeting and there's coffee growing in private yards. Walking down the street, you'll encounter burros carrying loads.

The place we're staying has a lovely garden in the court yard with oranges
growing and a pool. Shelley's going swimming every day. Entertainment seems to be watching the local policia playing volley ball in the yard next to the station.

At this point, as much as we think it's very beautiful and certainly cheap, we're concerned that we won't be able to slow down enough to enjoy it. In other words we're still thinking Cuenca is the spot for us. However, we still have to go out to the coast and we're trying to keep an open mind.

No comments:

Post a Comment