I got up at 6:30 am and was on a bus to Loja by 7:30 am. Loja is the closest “city”. It’s where I flew in to from Quito the capital. I saw a dead pig hanging from a porch and someone was butchering it. I’ve seen that in farm country in Ontario as well. In Loja I caught a bus to Zamora. The trip from Vilcabamba to Zamora is about 3 hours. Total cost one way is $3.90. These are coaches with comfortable seating like a GO bus. From Loja to Zamura is through the national park. So most of the mountains are covered in trees and brush. There are lots of small and large water falls that pass under the road. Sometimes the bus is driving along parts where there is a 1000 foot drop on one side. Everything is green. Talk about heart chakra. It’s easy to see where mud slides happen.

There is a driver and a assistant on each bus. The assistant collects the tickets or cash from the passengers and even wipes the drivers side window when it fogs up inside. The bus will you up and drop you off wherever you like. It use to be like that in Canada so long, long ago.

In Zamura, I come across a workman supply kind of shop and I buy a canary yellow full length poncho. Something that will be very handy and something I’ve been open to finding.

I buy some freshly scooped coconut meat from a street vendor for lunch and hook up with Sandrine. We’d arranged to meet at the bus terminal at noon.

It’s a 20 minute taxi ride into the park. Almost at the end of the road, some workman stop us. The road has been washed out at a smaller waterfall but we can still get in on foot. Around a plastic covered pile of dirt there are dozens of small butterflies fluttering around.

We start our walk to the falls after signing in at the “office” in case we case lost in the forest and they have to come looking for us. It’s very beautiful, humid and warm. I take a picture of ants carrying leaves.

I love talking with Sandrine. We share the same awareness.

The falls are amazing. I take a drink of clear water. I pocket a quartz rock. I examine what looks like sand and discover it’s crushed quartz. How energetic is that? There is some red clay and Sandrine notices that it glitters with micro quartz in it.

A forest ranger reminds us to sign out before we leave.

The workmen who had also told us they would call us a cab were not there when we go back to where we had been dropped off.

We talked about manifesting a cab to just show up. Sandrine approached two women who also appeared to be waiting for a cab. Minutes later their taxi arrived and they agreed to share the cab. While heading back into town, we Sandrine asked the driver if he knew of the restaurant where they serve super delicious tilapia fish and frog legs. It’s a place my landlords enjoyed when they went to Zamora. Well wouldn’t you know it. That’s exactly where the 2 women were going.

The restaurant is a 10 minute drive out of Zamora. The dining is outside around a pool that looked really inviting. I had the house special tilapia. Yummy. The young taxi driver joined us for a drink. Only in Ecuador? We passed through a police road check on the way back. The police are looking for Columbian drug smugglers. We parted ways back in Zamura and split the cab ride 4 ways. $5 each.

I said goodbye to Sandrine and caught the bus back to Loja a few minutes later. The bus driver likes to drive fast when going downhill so I bring myself back to centre after entertaining some fear thoughts.

I arrive back in Vilcabamba around 8:30 pm. I’m surprised the town square isn’t more busy and I feel lucky that no one throws water or eggs at me.

I can hear very loud music nearby. The second night in a row. It seems to go until 3 am. So far I’ve been able to sleep through it.