We took a “vacation” from our Apartment living in Cuenca, and headed South down the spine of the Andes about 3 hours to a town called Vilcabamba. Vilcabamba achieved fame in the late 90’s when some scientists realized that people seem to live longer in Vilcabamba. It is a muy tranquilo pueblo, to say the least. Perhaps that explains the longevity.
While there we joined two young Swedes and our guide, Juan Carlos, for an extended ride up into the surrounding mountains for a swim in a waterfall. Those horses earned their keep!
We also climbed a legendary mountain named Mandango. It’s legendary because aliens are reputed to have been sighted there, it’s a landmark the Inca King used to triangulate the location of his treasure, and another tourist was said to have fallen off the trail and died the week before. Our guide was a young man named Raimy who’d moved to Vilcabamba from Switzerland about 3 years prior. He been home schooled his entire life, carried a sling shot, sling, and machete, and spoke 4 languages.
Other Photos of Riding up the Mountain:
Char crosses a river
Juan Carlos wearing his “back pack”. Dan was interested in it because it balances the load on the front and the back.
Dan and Char after swimming in the waterfall.
Other pictures of climbing Mandango
Char walking the ridge. It’s steep on both sides!
Raimy getting water out of a spring.
Other Photos of Vilcabamba
A local artist makes art out of bicycle pieces. This is a pedal powered juicer.
This woman sold us delicious cinnamon rolls she’d just baked in her kitchen.
This is a coffee table base made from a motorcycle engine, wheels, and chains.
An ex-pat had purchased some land and built several of these dome houses.