A Travellerspoint blog

Cuenca and Vilcambamba Southern Ecuador

It's the memorable people on the road!


Surprise kids, you’re not going to believe this but we have a long bus ride ahead of us. Yes, I know you’re jumping for joy at the prospect of spending all day bouncing around and listening to traditional Ecuadorian music at an oddly loud volume. And don’t forget how fun it is to jump up and spy on the baggage compartment every time we stop so that no one walks away with our bright red western backpacks while a crowd cheerfully looks away including the bus driver. Sorry for the sarcasm.

This bus ride also includes the view of some incredibly high glacier covered mountains, maybe on a return trip we will investigate this area.
No, we didn’t get our gear stolen but we are diligently on the job and therefore long rides must be done in the day and not sleepily at night. During our ride we meet two lovely girls from Paris, Audrey and Justine, whom we would hang with in this city. Some big cities are a drag but Cuenca is really attractive with cobblestone roads, many bridges along the river and of course, big glamorous churches.
Wifi is scarce in hostel and we decide to get a budget hotel room. With the jungle trek and Chris’ weekend mountain trips we have been missing each other. The kids are starving for computer and tv time so I set off on my own to explore the architecture and design of Cuenca.

Two days only here and another fabulous bus ride to the southern town of Vilcambamba and a near the Izhcayluma hostel which is really a hotel. I should have searched a regular hostel in town rather than this costly resort with spectacular views.
It’s a lovely place for hiking and enjoying the view. This hospdeja as they call it here has a pool, ping pong and pool table, games, and hammocks everywhere. "Relax kids because we will be back on a bus in three days and the next one is to Peru". There are several characters that seem to have gotten stuck here and it's quite hilarious to listen to their accounts of the world.

I decide we will take a longer bus ride to Peru in order to avoid a reputably horrific border crossing. You all know how paranoid I have become on the subject of borders. I would later find out that my instinct was correct by avoiding the closer border which turned out to be a mess of swarming cab drivers, counterfeit money changers and all round desperate and dishonest fellows rapping travelers wallets.

We are leaving Ecuador but it's a country that certainly deserved more time from us. I hope we make it back here for some of the great hikes, heights, beaches, and quaint villages that we've missed. I highly recommend this country to traveling family, it's small enough to take shorter bus rides but there is lots of diverse things to do everywhere and children would love it. Other than the sticky fingers, my only other complaint is the shameless urination in public that men feel is their right. Not around the corner, deep in a field, in a bathroom with the door closed but right out in public. Against a car tire, a wall facing the street, a doorless urinal in a crowded area, they pee anywhere, like dogs. And the smell of urine therefore is sometimes everywhere!


Posted by sostrander 09:28 Archived in Ecuador Tagged family_travel

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