There had been a lot of flooding in Peru, and so we had to make a strange way through the country as some roads where still closed. We boarded a bus to Trujillo, which was supposed to take 12 hours, but we got stuck behind several landslides and it ended up taking 54 hours. However in true South American fashion, out of nowhere people turned up selling all kinds of things, popcorn, fruit, homemade crisps which kept us fed and somewhat entertained. After two nights on the bus the landslide had been cleared and we were on our way, slowly but surely. We will never complain about the train journey to Edinburgh again! Trujillo had been quite devastated by the flooding, walls had fallen down and rubbish was absolutely everywhere. We visited some ruins called Huaca del Sol y Luna, the largest pre Colombian adobe structure in the Americas at four floors high. It was really impressive, and so unlike the other ruins we had visited, the mud bricks had been very weathered by the rain and it looked like a huge sandcastle.
Having crossed the border, by a mixture of bus, taxi, collectivo and tuk tuk we finally arrived into Jaen. One of the cheapest places we have stayed, however, there was a reason, it was pretty awful! The next day we ventured to Kuelap a fascinating archaeological site which dates back to the 6th century and was left undiscovered for hundreds of years. The site consists of four hundred buildings surrounds by huge walls and placed at the top of a mountain. The round buildings were really interesting to see, a lot of them also had inbuilt guinea pig pens which was a funny fact!
Our last stop in Ecuador was Vilcabamba, a small town in the South of the country, with a very hippy feel. It is often referred to as the Valley of Longevity, as its inhabitants live to a very old age. We spent much of our time eating falafel and avoiding the rain. Luckily we had a few dry days too and did some hiking; we climbed up to the local mountain called Mandango, which was really beautiful.
We decided to do an indigenous San Pedro ceremony. It was one of the most profoundly enlightening things we have done and it made us feel very connected to mother earth.
We were really sad to be leaving Ecuador, the country had completely won our hearts and we had had some of the best times whilst here for over 2 months.