A Travellerspoint blog

Montañita, Day 3


sunny 27 °C

Ok, so I decided spontaneously to skip Guayaquil and Salinas/La Libertad cuz I don`t want to spend just one or two days in each. That kind of travelling is too fast for me.

So on Wednesday when I got off one bus I hopped right onto the next one and ended up in Montañita, another awesome surfing-artesania-banana pancakes-beautiful beach type of town. I`m having a great time here hanging out with some artesanias I met back in Máncora, and enjoying another kind of non-touristy travelling with these modern nomads.

Anyway, I`ll write when I can, but don`t worry if I don`t get around to it until I leave this town.

Surf´s up!

(I haven`t actually been surfing, but it`s just something I gotta say.)

Posted by The Cat 17:03 Comments (0)

Cuenca, Day 1

I`m a tourist again.

sunny 17 °C

Saturday afternoon, in the midst of my battling head and heart, reluctant to leave Vilcabamba but packing my bags, ´real life´ came in to distract me once or twice. I`d been staying in the apartment that Tina, the farm`s owner, and her friend Martha share for volunteers and for when they need it. A couple other people were hanging out as well, getting ready to leave. We were all sitting in the front room when we noticed a man sitting on the curb across the street. He appeared to be injured. He was Ecuadorian, a labourer, had no money, lived in the next little town over, and it turned out he`d fallen and sliced his hand on some glass. He was bleeding profusely and his thumb was almost falling off. I think he`d been to the hospital but since he had no money he couldn`t be treated and was just crying and bleeding all over the place.

We took him into the apartment to clean his hand a bit and gave him a temporary rag, then walked him to the hospital nearby. I asked the nurses to help and was quickly introduced to the convoluted health care system in Ecuador. They would, for free, treat and stitch his thumb back on, but they kept no supplies at the facility and it was up to us to run to the nearest Farmacia to buy them. So a the 2 girls and I waited there with him, I gave their other friend some money, and he ran off, coming back in about 5 minutes with a suture kit, needles, pain medication, etc, all for $5. We hung around while Jaime got fixed up, I bought him a sugary drink to help his blood-sugar level, and we walked him back into town, wishing him good luck and giving him advice on how to keep it clean. He said he had much respect for us all and walked away properly bandaged and grateful.

Sunday I felt sick knowing I was going to leave: I`d arranged a ride with one of Martha´s friends who was going into Loja at 1pm. I knew my friends at the farm might be showing up sometime that day so it was agony not knowing if I`d see them one last time before I left. I didn`t. The ride was nice though and, not wanting to linger or I`d never move on, I immediately took a bus to Cuenca. The guy who drove me, by the way, basically propositioned me when I said I`d consider living in the area for a while. He said he lived alone and if we lived together matrimonially for just a year I could get dual citizenship. This was with respect of course - he is a good man and a good friend of Martha`s so I trusted him - it`s just the way people are around here and I politely said I wasn`t sure what my plans were.

Anyway, here I am in Cuenca, a lovely little city with stunning rustic architecture and lots of art shops which is what I tend to look at now when I`m in bigger places. I went into the Museum of Contempory Art which didn`t actually have an exhibition cuz they were preparing one for February, but the building itself was worth looking at as they have the most beautiful gardens. This afternoon I`m gonna head down to the river, which I hear is also very beautiful. I`m not quite ready to soak in the stones yet. I need a bit of nature.

Posted by The Cat 10:36 Comments (0)

Vilcabamba, there are no days here

in the land of eternal youth

Today I decided to leave the farm; time to move on. It`s strange to be using a computer after this week.

To be honest, I`m not sure I can write about Never Never Land. Not yet anyway. The emotions are too raw, the experience too deep, the power of this whole area, the farm and the sacred valley in which Vilcabamba lies, still too present. From the San Pedro ceremony last week, a sacred ritual led by a shaman, to the gravity of its effects in the following days, to the incredible connections I`ve made with some of the people here, it is just too much to take in. These two weeks have been the most powerful, overwhelming, influential, positive, emotional, intense, heartbreaking, and uplifting experiences of my trip and until I can sort my thoughts out at least in my personal journal, I will have to leave them blank on this public one.

Tomorrow or possibly the next day I pass through Loja and on to Cuenca. It`s so hard knowing I am going to leave this place, but I will take with me everything that I learned and felt and saw and hopefully leave a bit of myself behind as well. I will remember its energy forever.


Posted by The Cat 15:58 Comments (1)

Never Never Land

sunny 30 °C

hey everyone! i`m just writing a quick entry to say that never never land is amazing and i`ve decided to stay another week. i`m just in town again for a couple days to pick up some groceries for the farm. i`ll write more next weekend! hope all is well back home and from wherever you are reading this!

Posted by The Cat 10:12 Comments (0)

Vilcabamba, Day 3

I shall be sans internet for one week!

Hello darlings, Vilcabamba is as wonderful as ever, and though I haven`t been doing much as I am waiting for a sore foot to heal, I have enjoyed doing nothing. The nothing includes playing cards, plotting my gangster story, doing some internet research, reading my Che Guevara biography (it`s true, I still haven´t finished it), trying out new restaurants, and soaking up the delicious views of the green valley. Today I walked up to a book exchange I heard about and swapped my James Bond thriller for a collection of short stories and plays by Chekhov. I read recently that any aspiring writer should know him.

Anyway, tomorrow I head to Never Never Land, an organic farm at which I will be volunteering for about a week. It`s part of the WWOOFing thing I signed up for before I left (Willing Workers On Organic Farms), owned by a woman named Tina. The work involves anything from working on the gardens, improving the irrigation system, tending to the animals, or helping Tina, a local midwife, with births (this is only occasional). I`ve heard only positive things from people who`ve been there so I`m looking forward to the experience and to being a part of a small, laid back community of people for a little bit.

And so, my next entry won`t be until I get back. Until then!

Posted by The Cat 17:00 Comments (0)

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