Day 17 & 18 entailed mostly making new connections and continuing old ones.

Sandrine took a bus to Zamura, about 3 hours from here and on the other side of the national forest. She didn’t want to stick around for carnival in Vilcabamba. Vilcabamba is like our Muskoka’s and people come from all over Ecuador to celebrate Carnival. There are parades, contests and lots of partying. It includes water pistols, water balloons, flour bombs and egg throwing. The expats who live here seem to shun it.

I met Santiago, a San Pedro shaman. I found him very genuine. He’s been a shaman for 20 years and has a property with obsidian and lots of San Pedro cactus where he holds his ceremonies some time.

I also set up a treatment with Ana, a former nurse who is moving to Vilcabamba and now does a bunch of stuff including acupuncture, essential oils and tuning forks.

I started shopping for food instead of eating in restaurants. 2 mangoes cost 50 cents and a good size avocado costs 60 cents. My landlord buys cases of mangoes for $10.

I took a walk outside of town and discovered the Vilcabamba river. There a park and zoo at the river but I didn’t venture in. I think I walked about 6 km. with all this fresh food, clean air and hilly terrain, it feels really natural to stay healthy.

Answers seem to be arriving naturally here. Some people only pay $150 a month for rent here. There are three banks that will allow a non resident to open a bank account here. I can extend my visa to 180 days with a bank statement and a $250 fee. So the options keep expanding.