Trip Start Dec 14, 2007
Trip End Nov 04, 2008

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Where I stayed
Las Ruinas de Quinara - $26, brkfst, dinner, pool, sauna, jacuzi

Flag of Ecuador  ,
Sunday, April 20, 2008

We were looking for a place to rest a few days, and apparently Vilcabamba is one of the best places for such "activity".

Its 1.5 hours away from Loja (US $1 by bus) and we soon found out why it is so popular with "gringos". Apparently it doesnt rain more than 150 days per year, and the temperature does not go below 18 or above 30 degrees celcius all year round.

The locals here have good statistics for reaching "old age" (of 100 and above) which they say is due to "temperature, natural water resources and good food". There is certainly plenty of fruit around the place.

As we have skipped Galapagos we decided to invest in a nice hotel with swimming pool, garden, etc so we could rest for a few days before travelling again. However we failed misereably!! We found an excellent hotel with pool, sauna, jacuzzi, turkish baths, video club, pool tables, gardens and plenty of places to sleep the siesta...but it is so damned cheap! For US $13 per person we got a double room with ensuite bathroom plus all the facilities (including a list of 1.400 dvd films)...including breakfast (continental) and dinner (soup, meat with rice, fruit and juice).

The place is called "Las Ruinas de Quinara". The only downside is that the owner / manager is Fawlty Towers mad and the staff have never known the concept of smiling. But who cares... Apparently the hotel used to be very successful and on all the guides, but the owner had a car accident and was in a coma for 6 months. Since then it declined. Apparently also its on the market for USD $ 550,000...a deal.

There is also an issue with the jacuzzi, which all the locals come to enjoy on weekends and over indulge with the cheap alcohol on sale at the pool bar. The problem is that the owner has added herbs to the water and it basically looks like a huge tea pot (without milk) and lots of froth...not inviting.

So we have done lots of swimming and reading by the pool and enjoyed the film "Ray" (Ray Charles).
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