After an almost two year experiement in living, Dave and I have come to the conclusion that we are not beach people.
Sand? Not a fan.
Being in a sea of people who, let's be honest, are a lot more confident in what they are wearing then they should be? I can live without it, my eyes will forever thank me. (Seriously? Speedos? Why are people letting their friends leave the house in those?)
Yes, the ocean is beautiful. And big. And just a little frightening with all those crashing waves that pull you under water and provide that "I've just been tossed into a washing machine during the speed cycle" feeling.
Besides that, I tend to burn. And then freckle. Not good.
I can't help it...I wasn't born to be enchanted by the swaying palm trees and shimmering sunsets. I mean, I'm from Idaho. Give me the mountains anyday.
And this is why Dave and I headed to Vilcabamba, Ecuador for Semana Santa, instead of following the rest of Ecuador to the coast. There were no blasted sand flies, no sand collections in unexpected, and uncomfortable, places, and no salt water up the nose. There was only mountain ranges, hiking excursions, a horseback ride, and a lot of reading.
Vilcabamba in a word? Paradise.
The mountains were beautiful, the weather perfect, the trails extensive (though a little muddy in some areas), and adventures plentiful. Our days went something like this....breakfast, exploring of some kind, back to town for a delicious and cheap lunch, reading, napping, card playing, dinner, reading, card playing, you get the idea. Of course, laughing was also a major part of the day.
We stayed at this beautiful hostel called Le Rendez-Vous. There were only eight rooms, with the most comfortable beds I have EVER slept on, each with a hammock outside. The rooms also surrounded a beautiful courtyard; our room had an avocado tree in front of it that had the biggest avocados I have ever seen. They also delivered a delicious breakfast to our room each morning, and encouraged lazing about. Notice, on the sign above, that they had "hot water at will." Sometimes, our will was not especially strong.
All in all, despite the occasional cold shower, it was pretty wonderful. Not a sand strip in sight.