Friday, May 25, 2007

Vilcabamba, Ecuador

The last minute decision to go to Vilcabamba for a week of WWOOFing turned out to be one of the best experiences thus far. I felt a feeling of peace and contentment wash over me as I entered Vilcabamba for the first time and saw a beautiful full rainbow. It was a sign of good things to come!

Vilcabamba is on the west side of the Andean corridor in southern Ecuador. The combination farm/restaurant/guest cabins are located right on the edge of Podocarpus National Park, which is named for Ecuador´s only native conifer. A beautiful, awe-inspiring place to be!

The volunteer situation was ideal: 4 hours of work 5 days a week in exchange for free housing and access to a kitchen. In the volunteer house we were 6, a mix of 3 Germans, an Austrian, a French, and me. The housemates were all so generous, innovative and creative, down to earth, and environmentally aware. After breakfast we all headed over to chat with the interesting and friendly owners and their kids, and to work a bit too. My main project was turning an area overgrown with weeds and bushes and small trees into a viable vegetable garden. It was rewarding. There were many places to hike to in the afternoons, and trips to town provided us with plenty of good wheat bread and natural yogurt and book exchanges. We made delicious dinners every night and thouroughly enjoyed the peaceful way of life.

Friday evening we went to a sweat with about half locals and half visitors. It was so enjoyable and purifying! One Peruvian artisan we met that night had us over to his place later that weekend, and I met some awesome people - accomplished musicians, protest organizers, artisans, and people with spark from different parts of the world. I also went on a wonderful hike with Regina, another volunteer, in which we stayed overnight at a mountain refuge. It makes the blisters worthwhile! All in all Vilcabamba was incredible and I left feeling centered and more
focused on what is important in life...

I am now traveling in Peru, and will write more when I get the chance. Take care everyone!

1 comment:

Nicki said...

Hey Alice, sounds like you're having a great time. Beautiful pictures! I love hearing about your trip!