My last day in Vilcabamba was as relaxed as the previous few days. It started with a yoga class, which, thankfully, was a lot easier than the previous one, breakfast and then a leisurely hour or so before walking into town to meet up with Angela and Carmen.
We had a wander around, looking at the many jewellery sellers, both hippie and Peruvian/Argentinian, who had their creations spread on cloths on the pavement, made a purchase or two and then it was off for lunch at the creperie cafe, where the other two had crepes and I had the most delicious spaghetti with pesto sauce (very Ecuadorian fare!) Afterwards, we caught a taxi back to the hosteria so that Angela would be in time for the Air Yoga class, which, when we went to watch, appeared to be like yoga on a trapeze! It looked fun but was apparently quite hard and certainly, in my current very stiff state, would be virtually impossible to attempt. (There are different yoga classes held each day at 4pm which tend to be more advanced than the free morning classes.)
Our final evening was spent over bowls of the excellent vegetable soup and, needless to say, a glass of wine or two or three (me and Carmen). We are all ready to move on now and looking forward to the next adventures, having been massaged and therapied to the max!
Wednesday dawned bright and early with the Australians in the room opposite ours making very loud conversation at 5.45am. They had been the same the previous day and we were not impressed. I went to say goodbye to Angela and Carmen as they were leaving early, Angela to Guayaquil and the Galapagos and Carmen back to Cuenca. I wasn’t in a rush and went off to the early morning yoga class, which wasn’t happening today! This was a bit disappointing as I was quite looking forward to it so I ate a lot of breakfast instead. Each morning, breakfast has comprised homemade granola, fruit salad, coffee, fresh juice and homemade bread/toast with homemade marmelade. One could get a little food obsessed here!
I packed up and then, as luck would have it, a group of girls were going into town and had ordered a taxi, so I was able to join them for a ride to the bus stop, from where I caught the bus into Loja. I was reluctant to go but had a very early bus to catch to Peru the next day so would have struggled to get to Loja in time otherwise.
The hotel was a little (very) disappointing after Izcayluma but then anything would have been, I think. The room was very small and had no outside window, something about which I am a little obsessed, and so was very claustrophic. However, it was only for one night and very cheap.
After checking in, I was off in search of lunch, a haircut and possibly some more glasses, as I had broken the arm off one pair and the lenses keep dropping out of the others. I was very pleasantly surprised with Loja as it is, in fact, a pretty town, with not many tourists as they tend to just pass through it. I had a menu de dia (or ‘almuerzo’ as it is often referred to, which just means ‘lunch’), went to the market and purchased avocados (dinner!) and then found a hairdressers, in which the hairdresser danced whilst she cut my hair. That left the glasses problem, which was solved when I was walking back from the City Gate (the only tourist attraction I visited) and chanced upon a glasses shop, where they tightened the frames so the lenses didn’t drop out, at no charge. The afternoon was complete with a cup of good coffee, which is surprisingly hard to find, and a people watching half hour in the main plaza. All in all, Loja was very successful.
I also had one ‘amusing’ incident, whilst at the City Gate. I was approached my an almost toothless man who had seen me taking photographs and attempted conversation, some of which I understood and some I didn’t. It appeared, after a little while, that he wanted my phone number and to meet later for conversation. Hmmm… I thought not!
Back in my claustrophobic room, I spent the evening researching Peru on the internet (sometimes it pays to have a little information ahead of time) and then had an early night.