Friday, March 27, 2009

Huanchaco, The Valley of Immortals, and So Many Buses

Well, I have officially arrived in Ecuador! Getting here was not entirely smooth, with lots of not fun buses, but I made it alive! My last few days in Huanchaco were wonderful, I already miss the beach! They consisted of sleeping and swimming and spending time in the sand, spending time with Linda and eating delicious food! The people of Huanchaco are quite friendly too--I met one guy, Julio, who followed me around the rest of the time, taking pictures and making me bracelets! I felt quite beautiful there too--lots of comments on my looks, which sometimes was flattering, sometimes gross!! But overall, I loved it! There are so many interesting places and people there, I´m jealous of Linda, who gets to spend another two months there! I also fell in love with Wilma, my host, a fiesty old lady with millions of crazy stories.
I did not get any surfing in, thanks to some sort of toxic spill, but we were plenty busy hanging at the beach, riding the little boats called caballitos (made from reeds, yes, more reeds!) and seeing more ruins and museums. The ruins were all very different from the Inca ruins, so really cool to see--all those walls in the desert! And of course I love the beach, we spent many an hour just watching the waves or the sunset with a beer. One nice thing about being on the road, the food is much better than in Cusco, so hallelujah for that!!
After a sad goodbye to Wilma, Julio and Linda, I took a night bus from Trujillo (the biggest city near Huanchaco) to Piura, my last Peruvian city! Piura was cold and rainy, and I ended up sitting in a dark bus station for awhile--I got there before it even opened--but finally we left. It was a very long bus ride, especially since I wasn´t feeling well, but the scenery was pretty, greener every minute we got closer to Ecuador!
I successfully crossed the border, saw a few monkeys, and made it to my final stop for a day or so: Vilcabamba! The Vilcabamba Valley is known as the Valley of the Immortals, claiming that the oldest people in the world live there. This theory has been much debated, but I did see a lot of old folks running around!! I even met one lady who claimed to be 136--she looked about seventy to me, but I have always been bad at guessing ages!!
My first view of Vilcabamba was cold, rainy, and confusion. I wandered around for awhile, asking a million people for directions, and finally found my hostel, Le Rendezvous. It was such a beautiful little hostel set in a courtyard full of orchids, I was sad to leave the next day!! Vilcabamba was a charming little town, and maybe someday I will return, as I only spent about 24 hours there!! The breakfast at the hostel was delicious too--I really am getting spoiled with all of this freshly made juice and fresh fruit!!
After that, it was my marathon of a bus ride--12 hours to Quito. It ended up being more like 15--it was long, bumpy, and a pretty cold night! At about three in the morning we even had to switch buses for some reason (the accent here is giving me some trouble, so I never really found out why) and I ended up on the floor until we dropped some people off. At least this bus was warmer!!
I successfully arrived in Quito, found a decent hostel and an internet cafĂ©, only to discover that all the flights out of Bozeman had been canceled!! What a bummer...but as far as I know, Adam will arrive tonight!! So I´m getting pretty anxious for his arrival!!
Quito is huge and confusing...I´ll be glad to leave tomorrow! I think we are heading to MishuallĂ­, a small town right on the edge of the rainforest. It should be amazing, I´m so excited--and very excited to get out of this town!! And to see my bro, of course :)
So stay tuned--the real adventures are about to begin! The McMahonimals are taking on many stories to come!! I miss you all so much, and look forward to hearing from each of you!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE xxx

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