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  • Day3

    Quito / Mindo

    January 16 in Ecuador ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    Today i decided to get out of the bustle of Quito and check out Mindo, which is in the middle of a jungle / rain forest. Getting there is a bit of a pain, so i opted to get a 3 hour Uber there for $50, saving me the trouble of getting to the far away bus station and potentionally sitting around there for hours waiting to leave.

    My driver, Edgar, didn't speak any english but we were able to communicate with the incredibly useful offline translator apps we both had on our phones. A few minutes into our drive he asked me if i minded if we picked up his wife for the drive to mindo. I said "sure!", and now we were three. I thought it was adorable he wanted to capitalize on his forced trip to mindo and make it a nice day excursion as a couple (plus one very smiley canadian).

    On the way to Mindo, we stopped at La Mitad Del Mundo which is at the equator, "middle of the earth".. so i took a quick picture with myself at the global positioning of 0" 0" 0" ! I am told toilets flush different directions on the two sides of the equator. But i didn't need to evacuate anything from my body, and we were running late so i didn't test the theory.

    Upon arrival in mindo, i told edgar i needed 3 hours for the waterfalls hike i planned to do, which starts with a very rustic, open air cable car ride across the huge cloud forest valley. I told edgar he and his wife had come all this way, they should take the cable car ride with me, and i happily paid their way. Surprisingly, they even hiked down to the first waterfall with me - down the muddy, steep trail in their street shoes.

    They left me to hike the next two hours alone to 5 more waterfalls while they headed back to the cantina, exhausted. The trail to the other waterfalls was in dense, wet jungle. It put such a smile on my face to be scrambling up and down steep trails and being rewarded with a series of gorgeous waterfalls and swimming holes.

    FYI, Mindo is especially famous for its birds. It typically has over 400 different species of birds, capturing the title for most on the planet 6 times in the last 20 years. Yes, there is a competition for everything.
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