From the colonial cities of Loja and Cuenca I moved on to hippie Vilcabamba. I came excited to hike and bike my way around a lush green valley.
Then I got sick. So I sat on a hammock all day.
I did take one light walk. To make up for my botanical garden misadventure in Loja I went to the zoo and orchid center. However this is a small town in Ecuador so the zoo had things like common chickens and a cage of pigeons.
While wandering back to town I passed a gerontology center. The town is famed for having people living well past 100 (to 130 even they say!) When researchers showed up, they found this fishy, tested ages, and realized the people here either forgot or make up ages. No one is over 100. Whoops. Still, if you were going to live a long time, this would be the place.
I honestly didn’t do much for half a week in this town. I enjoyed some repe (green plantain, cheese, and cilantro) soup and cecina (grilled or fried sun dried meat) that I didn’t get to in Loja. Turns out the repe I tried so hard to find in Loja is so normal it’s just served as the free soup with lunches. Whoops. Otherwise, I just chilled out. It was nice.