From Coastline to Cloudforest
Trip Start Feb 26, 2010
371Trip End Feb 26, 2011
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Where I stayed
By 06:30 we were roaming the fairly deserted streets with our backpacks looking either for fellow backpackers to share a jeep or another cheaper way to the airport. I tried to get on one of the buses used to get people to and from the posh boats, thinking they had dropped off the passengers I was quickly manhandled back of the bus, to see the long socked, jumpers around the neck crew approaching for there day on Santa Cruz
We even managed a bit of wifi to publish yet another blog, (I think the end of daily blogging is about one of the few good things about getting close to the end of our trip, we both truly hate it but my stubborness to admit defeat has meant we have kept it up).
When we got on the plane we found our seats the row behind the emergency exit seats, which oddly meant my seat had nothing in front but a gap in front of the door. We took off and another amazing looking dinner was served up by Aerogal, last time a cheese and ham sandwich. I got the table out of the arm of my chair (bear in mind I didn't have a seat in front). Despite the fact that Lady E did have a seat and therefore a table in front she started trying to force the arm of her chair open, getting annoyed she then accused me of stealing her table and tried to fold it back over in her direction obviously finding that the hinge wouldn’t go that way before the bloke next to her, who was in hysterics, simply undid the table in front of her. This was an ice breaker and we were instantly into conversation with a similar aged bloke to us from Argentina. He was a nice guy who we were drawn to when he spat his pudding back into the bowl and said "that is the most disgusting thing I have ever eaten
At Quito we quickly collected the bags much to my amusement, during Erica’s winge in the morning about her bag coming out of the bus wet it turned out it had been fish juice and her bag reaked of fish. We headed outside and fought through the 'celebrity’ cruises bus queue and got a taxi to the bus station. We then headed for Mindo a place known as one of the best twitching spots not only in Ecuador but possibly the world. That is right we are officially twitchers and looking forward to a bit of birding (that is a technical term) for a few days before we head to Colombia to get Erica some ‘stuff’ to carry home thus paying for the whole trip.
Mindo is lovely and is in the middle of a cloud forest, meaning quite obviously that it is in the middle of a forest that is up in the clouds, it took us about 2 ½ hours to get here from Quito but it seems like a world away. It is just the kind of place we love, cheap, rural, simple and, ahem..... full of birds. After a quick trawl of the accommodation circuit, for possibly the first time since a huge overspend in China, I let the lady loose and she picked. I wanted to stay in a place with no walls just bunk beds under a roof which at $5 a night was a steal, although we knew it would rain most of the time, being a cloud forest and all. The lady chose a marvellous wood panelled building with hot showers (something I couldn’t care less about) an en suite, and lovely large room
The price tag was forgettable but it wasn’t in our league a serious overspend, although letting the Lady loose I’m surprised we are not in a 5* hotel. We headed back out into town sinking a few beers which were more enjoyable as they were half the price of the Galapagos, before heading for a bite to eat at Restaurant El Chef, which offered up a very large steak (on a stone to cook it) with chips and salad for the same price as a hamburger in the Galapagos. Erica broke some serious rules and threw a bit of fat to a stray dog which then entered the restaurant and started jumping up at the table talk of us getting a dog when we get home must be abolished after that action. We wandered back to the hotel (note I’m not using the world hostel or hostal, the lady from the hotel was waiting for us looking at her watch as if we had kept her up, we got in at 7pm). It may have been about 20:00 by the time I was asleep which isn’t as bad as it sounds considering we lost an hour with time change from the Galapagos and we had a meeting with a bird guide at 6am tomorrow morning.