Having heard a bit about Vilcabamba beforehand, i approached the town with mixed feelings. There are a lot of ‘gringos’ staying long-term and half of the businesses are owned by ‘extranjeros’. I arrived on a sunday, while the market was on. The central square was filled with people and as the sun was out, two out of three were walking around with icecream in their hand and soon i held one in mine as well. A guy was giving massages in the shade of the trees and had even brought a special couch for his clients. It was a weird mixture of foreigners and locals and i couldn’t make up my mind if i liked what i saw. By that time i saw Deborah, whom i met in the hostal in Cuenca, sitting at the fountain. It is really not difficult to run into each other as the village is hardly more than two blocks around the village square. We sat a while longer around the fountain to catch up on recent events and planed to meet later at the Izhcayluma hostal a bit outside of town. This would become my home for the next ten days, with good company and good food to go along. Like in Cuenca, i was motivated by other people staying there to go out exploring and to get over the urge to just rest. Luckily i found time for that later on.
With Jasmin, an opera singer from Germany, i went on the Izhcayluma loop, which starts and ends close to the hostel. After the first part on dirt roads through the outlying farms, we soon were walking along this ridge.
The weather was nice and the trek just the right amount of exercise which slowly but surely puts a smile on your face…
with these views of almost all surroundings of vilcabamba.
One of the bars in town was throwing a party one night and we had a reason to leave our peaceful island on the hill and join the crowd. A band of ever changing members was playing throughout the night and the atmosphere was inviting to stay for another drink.
There is also a bike shop in town which doubles as a museum. Once like maya-pedal, the idea was to construct bici machinas. But the project is now shifting to the creation of art. The goal is to set up a business and sell art, furniture and lamps out of bicycle parts. We could visit the ‘junkyard of ideas’ in the front…
and later the soon to be patented final versions, of which photographs weren’t allowed, inside. A traveller passing through made this sign, which is now stored away in the ‘museum’ for now as well.
After the first days being rather filled with activities, i finally found some time to solely relax. Sleeping long and then the healthy breakfast were a perfect start into the day. Fresh fruit, homemade granola and joghurt as well as bread and jam were served. One could eat as much as one could and the fruit juice, the coffee as well as the view from the panorama terrace were going along nicely. I had to say goodbye a couple of times during this time as most people only stopped for two or three days, but luckily new people arrived and i found myself in the best of company throughout my stay.