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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Hacienda Caballo Campana, A Little Piece of Heaven in Cuenca by Star

After we came back from Vilcabamba, our house was still not ready. We were still homeless and had to find a place to sleep. We first stayed at a horrible hostal for two nights that we will not name, but that I was so glad to leave. The people were nice, but the rooms were old and dingy. However, mom found a little piece of heaven called Hacienda Caballo Campana. This inn is located in a horse farm-horse-horse stables and riding school paradise. The owners, Lina Torres and her family, love dogs and have many living in the property.

The moment we arrived, I knew I was going to enjoy myself. We stayed there five nights and I hated to leave. The place is peaceful and beautiful. The air is clean and fresh. There is a feeling there that I just can't describe. Caballo Campana is very close to Cuenca, just about 15 minutes to El Centro. Mom and I felt we could stay there forever ... dad really liked it as well but I don't think as much as mom and I did.

I made friends with all the dogs immediately. And, of course, mom had to make friends with them as well.

I had been afraid of horses until we stayed at Caballo Campana. They are big and fast and I hadn't been around them much. But here I learned to like them and not be so afraid of them. They are very beautiful and mom and dad petted them, so I learn that they are loving as well, no need for fear.

They have six dogs at Caballo Campana and many, many horses; I can't remember all of the doggies' names, but they all, except one, came to this place after a rough life of abuse. For example: Oso (Bear) is a Chow whose head is crooked from obvious abuse. He is terrified of people, but Mom worked on him every day trying to gain his trust. I just left him alone. By the last day he was not as fearful of her and would come close enough to allow her to take a picture of him. Mom was happy. I swear the silliest things make her happy.
Then there was this dog that fell in love with my mom because she fed her. She was very bright and hid from the waiters since she was not allowed in the dinning room porch where my parents ate. As soon as the waiters left, she would come out. You see, they allow me in the porch while mom and dad had breakfast because I am a Gringo dog, but the other dogs weren't supposed to be there... of course, they didn't listen very well, especially with mom encouraging them. I've heard the other day that this dog had a bunch of puppies and mom wanted to go see them. Thank God she stopped herself, otherwise I know I would have a brother or sister by now for sure.
The one doggie that could do anything he wanted was a small black one. He and I played for hours. He is still a puppy, very cute and smart.
The other dogs maintained their distance and you could tell they had some stories to tell.

It was sad when we left. All the dogs followed our car as we drove out the property. This is wonderful place, and mom has promised me to visit again soon. Who know she may even take some horse riding lessons while I play with the dogs. We'll see.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Our Trip to Vilcabamaba, Ecuador by Star

I can't believe it has been six months since we went to Vilcabamba. We were without a house then, gypsies once more. So mom decided that we could go to Vilca, as we lovingly call it, to enjoy ourselves and see other parts of Ecuador before moving into our house.

They say Vilcamamba is an energy center. I'm not sure what that means, but I really loved there and here is why.

So, first there were the views... just because I'm a doggie doesn't mean I don't pay attention to the views. This is the view from our bedroom at Madre Tierra where we stayed. I loved just to sit on the porch looking at the magnificent surroundings. I can spend hours like that... mom says that I am like a cat in that way... hmm

Then, there was my friend Kenna, who went back to the States shortly after this fun trip. I miss her, but we just had so much fun at Madre Tierra and everywhere we went in Vilcabamba. Mom did not any pictures of our hikes; but, trust me, they were amazing and the hikes and walks are the third reason I loved Vilcabamba.


Even though Vilcabamaba is quite small, there are many fun things to do, if you like nature and its beauty. Another thing I really liked about this place was that every day after our long hikes or walks we went to  Cafe Sambuca where my parents had lunch. Cafe Sambuca is co-owned by a wonder guy from Mexico, Raul Hernandez and they serve real Mexican food, or so I heard.

According to my mom and dad and to everyone else that ate there, the food was outstanding. However, I didn't try the food... they didn't let me (they being my parents). But, I was always too tired from my walks, so not being able to eat was not too bad. Besides mom's Tempeh tacos simply didn't sound good to me, although she must have liked them because she had them everyday... dad's food is always tempting, but he's harder to break than mom, so I got nothing from him not even a small morsel. I wish mom would stop being a vegetarian then I could have her food. But she takes care of me and somehow I ended up eating roasted chicken many days while in Vilcabamba. Yum! That's what I love the most about traveling, roasted chickens always make it to my plate when we are away.

I can't wait to return to Vilcabamba and enjoy the peace and quiet of this place and the wonderful hikes. When are we going back, mom?