« cuenca, ecuador | Main | Cali, Colombia »

January 30, 2005

Vilcabamba, Ecuador

So we returned from the farm and the Podocarpus National Park a day ago. in terms of things we've done on this trip, our 3 day hike up to the paramo came in a close runner up to the jungle adventure.
we first spent a day and a half on the organic farm that aaron, kristy and matt had worked on for a month. the owner, Eve the Canadian, bought himself a big plot of land perched on the side of a hill, about 3 hours hike from the town of Vilcabamba. it was inspiring to see this guy completely throwing himself into transforming land that had been slashed and burned for years into a sustainable farm based on permaculture techniques. I had a go with the machete chopping sugarcane in the lower field, and then aaron and i soundproofed the tin roof on the bathroom so that it didn't rattle so much when it's windy. we cooked nice meals and reveled at sleeping in the clean open air.

I would like to try to write and describe the hiking trip that aaron, kristy and i went on after we left the farm, but i find myself exhausted from an overnight bus ride (i'm not actually in Vilcabamba anymore). sufficed to say, it came in a close second to the jungle trip we took in terms of closeness with nature and exposure to an amazing natural environment that i'm unfamiliar with. some of the highpoints included having kristy point out at least 11 species of orchids, hiking up over 3000 feet elevation change in 5 and a half hours, and then back down in 2 and a half hours, reaching the unknown lake right below the peaks that divide the continent, drinking from clear mountain streams, walking across the paramo (a marshy, windy, foggy high altitude landscape covered with brush and small trees that reminded me a bit of the alaskan tundra), and camping on a ridgetop to wake up in the morning completely enveloped in misty clouds. being way back in the mountains made me very excited for our trip the the ciudad perdida in colombia.

as i wrote, i find myself back where i started more then 3 weeks ago, in mediocre Quito. last night was a rough overnight bus ride, cramped seats and of course the bus broke down, not to mention the blaring horrible latino music so popular here (aaron dubbed it 'the three legged horse' because the beat sounds like a lame horse trying to gallop). tomorrow we are gonna check out the national history museum, which according to toby has a not to be missed featured which he mysterously referred to as 'parts of a blue whale.' my interest is peaked.

Simon my old room mate from the purple house in SF is down in Chiaps, doing some work with the Zapatistas. check out his blog.

Posted by bendan at January 30, 2005 02:11 PM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


Post a comment

Remember Me?