CHOCOLATE, ZIP WIRING AND TUBING IN SWOLLEN RIVER
Trip Start Jul 12, 2009
255Trip End Aug 18, 2010
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Where I stayed
Arasha Hotel and Spa
We arrived to a crush of traffic at Quito as Liga, Quito's best football team were playing Barcelona, Guayaquil’s team. Once we had worked our way out of the football chaos we were en route for the tropical rain forest, which is only about two hours drive north west of Quito where the weather was cool and dry.
We were spending a couple of days in the middle of the richest, most bio-diverse hot spot on the globe at a place called Arasha, which is an eco-lodge, but we discovered it was more of a family resort/hotel
After studying the 'programme’ offered by the resort we realised that there was little on the bio-diversity of the area. We were hoping for a more ‘eco-lodge’ experience but discovered that Arasha was very much a holiday destination, which touched on areas of the fauna and flora, but without going into the depths we were craving. However, we thoroughly enjoyed making chocolate starting with picking the Cocoa fruit to dipping fruit into our chocolate fondue. Also making rings from Royal Palm nuts.
One day we paid an outrageous sum of money for a days outing to Mindo, the bird watching paradise and outdoor adventure sports capital of Ecuador. This day included zip lining above the rain forest canopy which involved ten zip line journeys zigzagging across the valley and skirting the tree tops and valleys. The kids went from mildly nervous to super confident ending up flying like superman or going on their own. I was pathetic and sat ridged trying to look like I was not nervous and having fun in front of the kids. Ian, under duress, had to do one run upside down. Around us were unbelievable flowers, including wild orchids hanging from trees. Even though I was not enjoying the rides I certainly enjoyed the walk through the forest.
After all this excitement it was time to change into our swimming costumes to ride inner tubes down the river. However there was some concern on the river as during the night there had been a large downpour in Quito, which helped to swell the river
We had given our camera to our driver who we saw ‘snapping’ us as he followed us down the river. However we soon found out after returning to the van that he had failed to turn on the camera and therefore we only had two pictures. The good news was that some people we had met on the zip lining experience that morning were watching us in amazement and had taken some photos.
After drying ourselves off we went for lunch. Edie was happier now and announced that she never wants to ride in a river again. It was the most exhilarating experience. We found out the next day that the river was closed for safety reasons that afternoon as a tree had fallen down across the river.
The afternoon was a far mellower with a visit to a butterfly farm and then to see the largest gathering of hummingbirds we have ever seen. All colours, sizes and variations purred past us to use the sugar feeders. As they flap their wings eighty times a second, someone calculated that their athletic ability was so immense that if they were human, they would be able to run 150 km per hour. What sad sod worked that one out?
The next day it was schoolwork day with a game of crazy golf in the morning followed by fishing session where both Fynn and Lily caught two fish with dough.