Trip Start Jan 31, 2005
45Trip End Mar 30, 2006
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The bus got going and immediately we remembered that it is pretty standard practice for Ecuadorians to wait to get on the bus until after the station because you don't have to pay the $0.03 to $0.10 bus station tax
The trip was about an hour and a half long, and the most memorable moment came about halfway through. We stopped to let somebody out and as we got going again, we saw this streak of orange passing the window out of the corner of our eyes. Those of us toward the back turned to look and a bunch of us started yelling "El chancho! El chancho!" The pig had wiggled out of its crate and fallen off of the bus. The poor old lady who was its owner was horrified. Luckily, the pig was tough, and had fallen on grass, and almost immediately got up and started eating - not very excited, this pig. The bus driver stopped and the man with the old woman ran to where it had fallen to grab it, carrying it squealing back to the top of the bus. The whole thing created a good laugh among the passengers.
Vilcabamba is a nice town in a valley, at a much lower altitude than we've been for awhile (only 1,500m!) Its residents are known for their longevity and, due to its location and climate, it's turned into a center for horse-riding, spas, biking, sitting around..
Post-Vilcabamba we took an overnight bus to northern Peru and then headed to the beach (finally...) We'll probably have some more photos and stories (perhaps a pig of the week?) soon.