Adios Quito! Hola Mindo!

Today we finished our Spanish lessons, at least for now.  I completed six days, four hours each day of one-on-one lessons; Chris completed three days.  We learned the basics and we both feel we havet a good foundation from these lessons.  Now we will continue to practice on our own as well as continue our self-study using Rosetta Stone software that we installed on our computers before we left (thanks Andre!).  We’re quite exhausted from these lessons – it was a lot of work!

Tomorrow we are leaving Quito for Mindo, a small town in the Andean foothills of Ecuador, about two hours north west of Quito.   This town was founded in 1861 and the current population is around 3000 inhabitants. Mindo is surrounded by the Mindo-Nambillo Cloud Forest (about 35,000 acres in size). The forest is home to hundreds of species of birds many of them are in danger of extinction. The natural Reserve Mindo-Nambillo is one of the most visited cloud forests in Ecuador.  It’s a popular spot for both tourists and Ecuadorians alike.  Its close proximity to Quito makes it a popular day trip or weekend getaway.   We plan to be there for about ten days.  We’re looking forward to getting out of the noisy city and back to nature.  We’ll go hiking, bird-watching, maybe zip-lining if I can work up the nerve.  Basically it will be a time to just chill and relax in a beautiful, natural setting.  Not sure if we’ll have internet access while we’re there, so don’t worry if you don’t hear from us over the next week or so.  I’ll keep writing and post whenever possible.

After Mindo we are heading to the coast to Canoa, for our first HelpX gig.  HelpX is an on-line service that brings people together who require helpers and people who are interested in working in exchange for room and board.  Same concept as WWOOF (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms) except it is not limited to farm work.  We will be staying with Andy and Leo who have just finished building their house right on the beach in Canoa and who need some help with some of the finishing work inside, as well as some help designing and planting the garden outside.  It sounds like a match made in heaven as Chris and I have these exact skills.   We’ll be sure to share our experience with you.

A final word about travel.  Chris and I are feeling rather stressed about travelling by bus in Ecuador now that we have a few bus trips on the horizon.  We will travel from Quito to Mindo by bus (2 hrs), then on October 1st, we will travel back to Quito, take a taxi from the bus station in the north end to the bus station in the south end, and then take a separate bus to Canoa (5-6 hrs). We have heard so many stories about the dangers of inter-city buses and all the various scams that are used to steal from unsuspecting tourists.  It’s downright scary.  It’s hard enough figuring out where the bus stations are, and how to buy the tickets to go to the right location, without having to worry about being robbed the second you take your eyes off your bags.  Oh well, it’s a necessary evil.  Here’s keeping my fingers crossed that all goes well over the next couple of weeks.

 

Category: Ecuador, South America
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One Response
  1. Laurel says:

    Keep posting about your adventures when you can. It’s great for us to be able to check in now and then to see what you’re up to. We’d like to do something similar ourselves someday, but for now, we’ll live vicariously through you. :-)

    Have fun!