On Good Friday we eventually manage to leave the charming little village of Vilcabamba. We had two false starts in our attempts to leave. The first day that we planned to leave dawned wet, and remained wet and miserable all day, we declared that it was weather unfit for pleasurable cycling and stayed an extra day. The following day was clear and bright, we packed and dressed for cycling and ambled down to the plaza for breakfast. There we met a friend and got chatting, it was pleasant sitting in the sun nattering and before we knew it it was noon. We had a beer and stayed another day.
Many residents of Vilcabamba are natives, and many are not. For Vilcabamba has a sizely ex-pat community. Mainly Americans with a passion for grey beards they are a contented bunch of people who have found an alternative to the hectic consumerism of their home land. It is quite easy to see why people choose to make this peaceful valley their home.
As we were preparing to leave a procession set out from the church. They were re-enacting Christ’s journey before the crucifixion, although I strongly suspect that Jesus did not have a Chevrolet pick-up truck in front of him carrying the cross. On their return to the plaza after a lap of the village they took the cross from the pick-up, laid it on the floor, laid a boy on the cross and tied him too it. they them daubed him in red paint to and raised him up for all to see.
Some hours later as we rolled into the town of Loja we saw a crown of people watching something with fascination, it was three people hanging from crosses. We assumed that they were tied there rather than nailed, we did not check.