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After exhausting Quito´s options, we headed onto the pretty little village of Mindo, sat bang in the middle of the cloud forest. Mindo is pretty popular with tourists who pop down from Quito to do some of the adventure sports avaliable there, so its quite touristy, but not too much so. The first morning there we joined up with a group who were going tubing to float down the Rio Mindo. The tubing was a lot of fun, but the water was straight from the mountains and was FREEZING cold. Plus, the water was low so there were a lot of rocks, so it kind of felt more like river running than floating- even though every so often wed get stuck on a rock and one of our ´guides´ had to launch himself into the rocky water to give us a push, somehow avoiding ripping his feet to pieces.


Mindo is equally popular with middle aged tourists who come to go bird-watching, because apparently Mindo is one of the best places on the continent. We werent that fussed about going, or for forking out $20 for a guide to take us, but we´d heard you could see toucans and parrots, so wandered up the trail where all the proffesional-looking people were going to have a look. The trail itself was worth the early start, it climbed up into the forest-covered mountains and we got some awesome views of the sun rising over mindo and the rainforest. We did pretty well seeing toucans despite the lack of professional help- managed to see green toucans, black toucans, and a few parrots.




At the end of the trail was a really cool ziplining course, a bit like Go Ape back home where you could harness yourself up and fly across and through the rainforest canopy, which was amazing. Because of the height there were some awesome views over the jungle. In typical South American style, you were also able to disregard health and safety completely, and fly across upside-down or in a various manner of precarious positions. We did it a few times but the blood rushed to your head so quickly that it kind of ruined the view.



After a few days having fun and chilling out on our balcony, we were forced out of Mindo by the familiar problem of running out of cash, and having the cash machine break down before we could replenish. We would have loved to spend a day extra there but ended up heading back to Quito to get to the highland town of Otavalo in time for its famous Saturday market.

Posted by St Martins 05:46 Archived in Ecuador Tagged seniors

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