We had a wonderful day in Mindo on Wednesday, our first full day here. Our morning started with coffee, eggs and toast at Caskaffesu. The coffee was great...doesn´t sound like a big deal but apparently in Ecuador it´s really tough to find anything but instant coffee. I guess they ship all the good stuff over to the US!
Here´s Joanna´s "Happy Coffee" smile.
After breakfast we walked up the dirt road at the edge of town to the Mariposas de Mindo - the buttefly farm. This was a nifty little place, with an enclosed area where they have hundreds of butterflies of 25 varieties flying around. One really neat butterfly called the "Owls Eyes" had markings on the backs of its wings that look just like an owl´s face, and if you look carefully at the corner of the wing the markings look like a snake´s face. When we first walked in, the girl working there stopped and did a double-take when she saw us. Turns out it was a girl from the bus yesterday who helped us out when we were confused about where to get off. Small world. Well, Mindo really IS a small town.
After enjoying the butterfly farm we continued walking up the road, alongside the river. There we found the zipline place that Susan and Luis from the hotel had told us about, called Mindo Canopy Adventure. This was a lot of fun! Even though the folks running the place didn´t speak any English, and our Spanish is still pitiful, we were able to communicate pretty well. We zipped along 13 different ziplines. What a blast!
We decided to continue farther up the road to find the waterfalls. It started to rain pretty heavily but we were determined to make it to the waterfalls. Good thing we did, because the rain stopped after about 15 minutes and we didn´t hit any more rain during our walk.
We arrived at the tarabita, which is a wire basket thingy hooked to steel cables that takes you across a river basin and joins with trails to the waterfalls on the other side. It wasn´t nearly as precarious or scary as it sounds.
There, we hiked up and down a bunch of muddy trails and saw the Santuary of the five cascadas (waterfalls). Nice smallish waterfalls, but not of the "oh wow!" variety. And of course, the farther we walked down the farther our walk back was. No biggie, since I look at each of our hikes as training for the Inca Trail trek that we´ll be doing in Peru in a month.
We were done with the waterfalls fairly quickly, so we headed back across on the wire basket tram thingamabob and walked back down the road into Mindo.
We had a pretty full and very enjoyable day.