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Welcome To Vilcabamba
"The Sacred Valley of Longevity"

This Is A Privately Circulated Blog, scribbled exclusively for Friends & Familiars, that peers into and pontificates about Expat life in the hinterlands of South America. If your eyesight is less than optimal (like mine), then just click the type size up a notch on your browser..

Here you will find a series of curmudgeonly commentaries that I've posted from atop my rickety old soapbox for the past few years. And yes, there are indeed political rantings, so place your seats in the upright position and fasten your seat belts .... it may be a bumpy ride.


The Great Watering Down

On a planet where weird weather has become the norm, there hasn't been much reporting about Ecuador's recent unseasonably heavy rains …. which were reportedly the worst in the past 30 or 40 years. Some Ecuadorians say the worst in 100 years.

Here in Vilcabamba, it might rain about seven days a month during what's called the "rainy season", and that usually at night. However, during the season just past, we had torrential rains that often fell day after day and night after night, sometimes dumping as much as 5 to 10 inches of water on already heavily saturated ground.

The result was huge landslides, especially on the road between Loja and Vilcabamba. That road is the one and only means of accessing the large provincial city of Loja, where we do our major shopping. But Ecuadorians are innovative, and got around the mudslide issue by stationing taxis on either side of the mudslide to carry passengers who walked across the blocked areas, and were then "ferried" on by the other taxi.

The famed waters of Vilcabamba's rivers were at flood stage much of the time, taking out bridges and washing out roads. Here at the Hacienda, we almost lost a portion of the road, as the retaining earth embankment went tumbling down into the river below. Quick response and hard work by the Hacienda staff kept damage at a minimum.

The skies appear to be clear now, and we are experiencing unusually windy weather. The windy season doesn't usually begin until August, but no one around here is griping. At least we are getting dried out. My garden is no worse for the wear, and the extra "watering" seems to have done the plants no harm.

So our unusual local catastrophic weather went unnoticed by the rest of the world. However, I for one could do without a repeat next year.

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