Saturday in Vilcabamba!
Woke up quite sore, and sloooooowly showered and shampooed and dressed. Meandered slowly down to the restaurant and met Alex, the waiter, for breakfast. Breakfast is included in each night’s stay, but what they offer is quite limited for my diet. Great quantities of bread, butter and jam, fresh-made juice (which is excellent), crepes (very large and nothing in them but the wheat), fresh fruit chopped in a large bowl that you can serve into smaller bowls and sprinkle with something that resembles granola, a liquidy white substance that I think is supoosed to be yoghurt, and eggs any style. Day after day it can be very boring, so most mornings I just have a banana from my bunch that I bought in town and keep in my room. Then later, on most days, I’ve ended up in town anyway and find something more interesting to eat. There a quite a good number of great little restaurants around, especially for this small of a town.
After breakfast I had my massage – it was pretty good and I enjoyed it ($18.00 for 75 minutes). The massage therapist slicked me up with almond oil, even my entire head of hair, so afterward I had to go shower and shampoo AGAIN to get all the oil out.
A little later I went back to the Spa again for another facial. I was hoping for the same woman I had last time, but instead I got the same one I had for the morning massage. The facial left a lot to be desired this time – it was nothing at all like the first one. It turns out the first woman is the mother to the second younger woman I had, so I imagine mom may have taught daughter how to do the facial, and daughter fudges a lot cuz she may not have gone to school for it. They do have, apparently, excellent schools and high standards for massage and facials and body-work here in Ecuador.
Had a little lunch, and caught a taxi to meet with Mike Adams (aka The Health Ranger). His website is http://www.naturalnews.com and he has a daily newsletter on all sorts of health issues that is free. The taxi driver didn’t quite know where his house was, but at least he got me into the gated community. From there we had to ask somebody who was sweeping leaves on the side of the road, but eventually I got there, 15 minutes late into our scheduled 30 minute meeting.
As I approached the house, Mike’s wife Seth came out and introduced herself to me, and then Mike came out. It was pretty interesting meeting them, especially him, after reading so many of his articles and watching his YouTube video. We ended up visiting for over an hour, and they walked me all over their property and showed me all the wonderful plants and trees and bamboo forest they’re growing. They also showed me how a hillside that had eroded in a heavy rain had been stabilized with a bamboo maitrix overlaying the soil. We discussed a number of topics related to health, and finally they called me a cab and I waved good-bye and started walking the road back to the gate. The taxi got through the gate and to me before I could get to the gate, which was good cuz my legs were feeling really weary.
Back at Hosteria Izhcayluma I went down to visit Alex’s pad, and saw the wonderful silver jewelry he makes. He had a gorgeous shell that he hadn’t done anything with yet, so I asked him to make me a necklace with it. Back up to the Hosteria, I caught up on Friday’s log over a couple of king size Pilseners, then dinner followed, and another cervesa, and saying good-byes to many new friends, and exchanging email addresses, and I was finally off to my little luxury cabin. I packed my suitcase and was all ready for an early morning departure.
Vilcabamba has been quite an experience, and I really like the area. Who knows, maybe I’ll return one day. But for the moment, I’m preparing to make the 6- legged transit change trip to Quito – taxi to Vilcabamba, bus to Loja, bus to Cuenca, taxi to airport, jet to Quito, and taxi to Hostel. I’m tired before I begin, just thinking about it!