Friday, October 22, 2010


Since our friend Dave has arrived we tried to be good hosts and show him a bit of the countryside. We had some help from El Nomad Facilitation services.( Arturo Garate picked us up at our home and drove us up through the Andes.  It was a wonderful guided tour as well as he was a great driver. Which I must say is difficult on those windy roads. We were offered any stops at our convenience, but we powered through to Loja. Of which, I am ashamed to say I did not take one picture!

Arturo introduced  us to a lovely restaurant that served typical Ecuadorian food with wonderful ambiance, we even had a great guitarist come and play while we ate.. I again have let everyone down, as I did not take a photo or remember the correct name... its Ecuatoriano?

After eating we drove around and around looking for the University that is known for its terra cotta pots with the black art on it. Our friend Chuck Watson has some, and you know Randy, he has to keep up with the Watsons! So we searched and Arturo asked one person after another directions. Finally we found the University... nope.. they didn't make the pots. Huh? Well we knew that there were pots to be found in Loja, we just didn't have our information correct. Oh did I mention that Dave being the type A personality showed great patience as he rode along on our quest? Well we decided we had given it the "college try"
(pun intended) and off we went to Vilcabamba.

We were shown our rooms and after a quick look see, we were off to check out the Hostal grounds.

Randys adaptation of checking out the grounds....
Dave the pool shark

The breezeway/sitting area outside our room
We had a marvelous SNAP CRACKLE POP Thunderstorm that nite, and considering we had on our Birkenstocks  and the hostal is built on the hillside, and all the walkways are paved with slate and river rock, it was a very very precarious climb back up to our rooms later that nite!

Randy woke me up at 8, saying that Dave was nashing his teeth to get going, so I had a very lovely HOT shower in the rock-lined shower(again I did not take photos, but its on their website, the shower, not me in the shower) We had a great breakfast, and then we were off to town. The hike down the hill is a bit farther than you think, and even though Randy and I were dawdling, Dave was off down the hill, heading for his adventure.  We were amazed at all the building going on in this little remote town. They dont even have a gas station..They do have a town square and a big school in the middle of town. Everyone was very nice and friendly.

We had a nice relaxing sit while we watched this huge machine try to drive up a wood ramp layed across timbers, so it could get up onto the back of the trailer. There was alot of arm waving, and hollering. Randy says oh this will be good, get out your camera! He was right.

This is when they began to realize they were in a bit of a problem and starting yelling. The fellow either turned his wheel wrong or kept going, because he really made it worse.
 Everyone had to go look real close.. and determined that rocks would solve the problem so they started to hustle to gather huge rocks and shove them under the wheel.

We decided at this point that we couldn't stay to watch the end of the drama. One fellow took off down the street so we weren't sure if he went for help for took off before blame was laid!

We met up with Dave in town and after a cup of coffee at El Punto we walked across the street and had lunch. Our friend Jani was in town and she found us in the restaurant and we had a nice time getting reaquainted and introducing her to Dave.

We decided a taxi was in order, and a mixto double cab truck pulled up just as we needed one. As we were getting in I heard this loud clatter, and looked to see Randy being accosted by a tiny old man yelling something in Spanish. Our driver, Dave and Randy were all yelling and waving him away. After he backed off Randy and Dave got in.. I asked what that was all about and Randy said..."well he just wasn't going to take no for an answer."

We got back to the hostal, and Randy and I took a nap. Dave went on a hike. He says he has wonderful photos, so I will try to put some out when he sends them.

Its very peaceful at this hostal, the bird calls are marvelous, the people are very nice and the food is fantastic. I took some more photos the next morning while we waited for Arturo to arrive.

These orchids were growing in the trees

Bamboo.. Randy was very happy to see it

And another stand of Bamboo on the path to the massage room!

None of us tried out this pool, but it did look wonderful

Vilcabamba in the valley below

Randy was not to be thwarted in his quest for the pot, so we found out from Jani and Nancy Watson (via email) more information, and found that we needed to be looking for the Technical College... so we were off, with Dave's patience firmly in place. Again it was alot of stopping to ask for directions and few trips back and forth, but we did finally find our Mascetera's! Here is Randy and Arturo having way too much fun harrassing the folks in side for a Vapa (like a freebie when you buy alot) they were not going to give a discount or Vapa... it was all good natured, and everyone was smiling. But Arturo tried very hard.

We finally got done, Dave had done a least 4 laps up and down the road while we got our pots wrapped and boxed up, and was very cheery to see we were ready to get on the road.

Off we went and arrived home at 4. We had a nice getaway, and now we know that even though its warmer in that part of the country we do not want to live there. I have exactly 5 mosquito bites.. that's 5 too many. And there were black crawly millipedes in our bathroom... so nope. Scratch those two towns off the list.

Dave loves the ocean, and I told him that even though we could not go, he should head out and get on with his adventure.. so he did! Last we heard he was in Salinas. Hot and muggy and I bet he is loving every moment of it.

He will be back on Sunday or Monday and they we both are flying out of Quito for the States. He, to his job and me, to visit my Mom in Salem, Oregon. Hopefully to convince her to fly back with me! 


  1. Would love to hear what Dave's impression of Salinas is.