Saturday, 6 October 2007

Into Ecuador

I left Chachapoyas on the overnight, ten hour, bus arriving in coastal Chiclayo early the following morning. Within an hour I was on another bus headed north to Piura, a three hour ride up through the Peruvian desert. In Piura I arrived with time to grab a breakfast in a market before jumping on to a bus headed to Loja in southern Ecuador. This bus took eight hours. Loja is reported to be rather a dull city so I opted to have one more bus ride, this one of just an hour, to the village of Vilcabamba. All in all I arrived twenty four hours after leaving Chachapoyas. What a marathon!

Vilcabamba is a small village sat in the so called "Valley of longevity". People here live long lives due to the good climate and low stress levels. It certainly is a laid back place, and seems to have attracted a lot of hippy type gringos who stay here for long periods.

Located under the mountains forming the Podocarpus national park, which on its eastern side have huge tracks of cloud forest leading down to the Amazonian jungle. Here live spectacled bears, though I'm sure I will not see one as even the one at Chester zoo has never shown me his face!

Today, Saturday, I took to the saddle and had the best horse ride ever. These horses were not lazy and really wanted to "go". For the first time ever I got to bottom up gallop.