Traveling in Ecuador

I started 2010 with escaping New York winter and going for a month to Ecuador. I’ve been there once before in 2003 on a trip to Galapagos Islands, Quito and Otavalo, but this time i headed straight to a little village of Vilcabamba hidden in the lush green mountains towards the southern border, not far from Peru.

V i l c a b a m b a…  What a magical place it was!!! It’s famous through  Ecuador as the “valle-de-la-logevidad”, a.k.a. “the valley of longevity”. Apparently, locals around here used to live till really old age [I heard someone mention 139, although wikipedia says 135, but still, 135 is impressive enough, i.m.h.o. !!! ] At one point, not so long ago, there were a plenty of people over 100 y. old…. Then the Westerners came, built a hospital and started helping people with antibiotics and such. Shortly thereafter the elders started dying out quite fast. … That’s how the story goes. 

Regardless of the secrets surrounding the longevity, the village , the valley, and the nearby mountains were the most picturesque views I’ve seen in a long LONG time! The first week i considered them simply breathtaking! By the second week, though, i was able to ‘regain my breath’ and did a lot of hiking, biking, and horse-riding in the countless trails in the mountains.:)And, please, don’t go there! Don’t tell anybody about it! Just don’t! As it is, I found way too much “love it to death” frases  associated with Vilcabamba – “a hidden paradise”. 

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