Time seems to be flying, we’re now in the ninth country on our travels as we arrived into Ecuador. We can’t believe where this time is going.
Another long bus ride took us to the capital Quito. Here we enjoyed exploring the colourful old town as we walked from iconic buildings to small craft making shops, honey producers and ice cream makers. The Ice cream here is made and sold on the streets, small stands have a large copper pans which sit into a bucket of ice. Sweets are made with the huge array of easily available fresh fruits like passion fruit and coconut. You can watch them make it straight in front of you, it’s a must to try.
A real highlight for us was the Basílica del Voto National, this huge gothic looking grey stone cathedral was amazing. For a few dollars your are able to explore the entirety of the building. Twisting your way up through the clock towers, along the eves in roof of main cathedral, and most impressive is the 3 scary, steep ladders that cling to the outside of the spire, this takes you to the top viewing platform, seriously not for the feint hearted. The cathedrals location is perfect, you’re able to have panoramic views of this sprawling city, both into the old town and the ever developing north. We really enjoyed our time here, but discovered that Latin American cities don’t really do much for us, so we were happy to escape for something quieter.
We crossed the equator, a landmark on our way out of Quito, to discover the “middle of the world” it is actually accidentally placed about 200 m away from the actual 0 line. Unfortunately these days it’s become a big tourist spot with really pour maintenance and is expensive, so we wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. A quick photo and we were back on the road to Mindo.
Mindo, this was a great break from the large capital of Quito, this small village set a few hours into the mountains was a great place to chill. Surround by the mountains of greenery and its isolation from everything we ended up getting slightly stuck here for these reasons. Our accommodation was great, a little cabin in the middle of a tropical garden – we spent too many hours chilling in hammocks, playing cards and watching the humming birds flying around. This place is famous for its huge number of bird species, we were able to spot toucans on are walks and many others, we just had no idea what we were looking at (we’re not bird watches).
This was also where we spent Josh’s birthday (he hit the big 26), eating brownies freshly baked out of the chocolate grown near by and dinning in the many great little restaurants. Mindo gave us everything and for so cheap. There are many activities you can do from here.
Taking a tiny open cable car that connects the valleys to then trek and explore the many waterfalls on walks.
Zip lining through the dense canopies, with some panoramic view points.
I think the only reason we left was the excitement of seeing the coast again, otherwise we would still be there.