To South America and Back

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Donaudampfschifffahrtskapitaensgesellschaft


Stumbling through Peru, we got a brief introduction for what was to come...we caught the movie Creep while in Piura, Peru. Ok, the bad acting and torture chamber amidst an underground subway was not in our future but Franka Potente prepared us for the mass of Germans that Ecuador had in store for us.
Vilcabamba is a small town in southern Ecuador nestled within the Andes. It is also known as "The Valley of Longevity". We heard different stories of the oldest person ranging from 100 to 130. Eighteen percent of the population is over 65 whereas the States can only claim 9%. Everything from this valley is supposed to make you live longer...the water, the air, the food, the coffee, even the cigarettes. The population is about 1,000 (made up of some of the friendliest people we've met along the way), the mountains are lush and green, and the temperature changes by one degree year round. It's the absolute perfect environment. To make this area even more spectacular, we found the nicest hotel started by two Bavarian brothers. As Eddie Izzard would say, the Germans are always working and creating the best things. These guys have constructed a hotel atop a hillside overlooking this gorgeous valley. Their well-designed and spotless cabins go for $30 a night and include a nice balcony with a hammock and table perfect for evening games of Shithead. The food is absolutely scrumptuous (including the best breakfasts we've been offered on this trip). They feature a pool, ping pong, billiards, 100s of DVDs, a bar, and our favorite...Scrabble. They also offer a range of massages and scalp treatments (including a one hour, full body massage for $12). It's easy to understand how we stayed here for eight nights...our longest stay besides our current residence in Cartagena, Colombia.
As I mentioned above, this country is teaming with Germans. Argentina may have all the Germans who fled Germany in the 40's but now it seems they much prefer Ecuador. Ok, perhaps it was the hotel we were staying at but Quito seemed to filled with German travellers as well. So, we spent eight days with some fabulous fun-loving Germans as well as many wonderful Ecuadorians. Here are our favorites... A funny little monkey
Peter (of owners "Peter & Deiter) who has inspired us to start a hostel in some new exciting land, taught us extra long German words, introduced us to the "suck and blow" shot formerly known as "the gas chamber" (not such a good name for a German to have when Israelis are roaming the continent), shared stories of stupid Americans, and helped us to cover the beautiful green terrain of Vilcabamba.

Sobeda (receptionist) who became our greatest friend at Izhcayluma, named after a character from Arabian Nights. The much loved LeicaA hilarious German named Frank and his posse...Frank, reminding me much of a character from Snatch, whose famous story with us was when he was once filming an interview with Condi Rice, he went to retrieve the mic from her and whispered in her ear "bitch of the devil". Fabulous ping pong player but not so good at the "suck and blows".

Jeremy's fuzzy friend

German brother and sister (this picture is only a respresentation as we did not capture them on film...this one will just have to do) who taught us Uberfahrt and kept the German influence strong.

...oh by the way, the title of this post means: "company of the captains of steamboats of the river Danube."

1 Comments:

At 9:47 AM, Anonymous Jennifer said...

Oh my gosh! Monkeys really do love Jeremy! (Flashback: RoMo's wedding!) Looks like you're having a great time! We miss ya!

 

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