Dear Family and Friends,
Ever since our last visit to Loja Chuck has been wanting to return to buy pottery for the garden. Jim mentioned the other day that he would like to see Loja and that was more than enough incentive for Chuck to rent a double cab pickup for the trip down.
We left on Saturday around noon. Chuck thought we should go to Vilcabamba (about an hour further than Loja), spend the night and then go to Loja to look around and go shop for pottery.
We got to Vilcabamba about 5:30 or 6:00pm. We stayed in the hostel that we visited on a previous trip called the Jardin Escondido. It is painted bright blue, one block from the main plaza and has a wonderful garden space with an outdoor restaurant inside.
We had dinner and then settled down for the night.
On Sunday morning we walked around the town.
Here we are on the main plaza looking around.
There is a lovely church at the center of the town.
If you walk just off the plaza, there is an old west, rustic feeling to the town. It is warmer there with many tropical plants and is surrounded by mountains.
Since we had our own transportation we drove into the mountains outside of town. We found a most delightful hostel, Izhcayluma, that is owned and operated by a German couple. The beauty of this place is that it has a wonderful view and excellent facilities.
Chuck and I fell in love with the place and we have booked a cottage for the first week in February.
We drove back to Loja on Sunday stopping to enjoy the beautiful view.
Monday morning we started out with a cup of coffee near San Sebastian.
San Sebastian is a wonderful plaza in the historic part of Loja. Below is the San Sebastian church.
We walked down Lourdes Street. This street is the same as it was 100 years ago. Unlike Cuenca which is full of colonial buildings, Loja is more modern. This street, however, has been preserved.
Loja has some beautiful parks. We took Audrey and Jim to the Unidad Parque Recreacional Jipiro. Here is Audrey and Chuck enjoying a paddle boat ride.
In the afternoon we went up to the pottery store. The pottery is a whole blog in itself so I am going to tell about that later.
We left Loja, the truck loaded down with boxes and returned to Cuenca on Tuesday. It is a long ride, even in a truck. The road was good. There are just a few places yet that need to be paved. But even with a nice highway there are obstacles that slow one down.