I think Mindo might be my highlight of Ecuador (not including the Humpback whales OBVIOUSLY). A tiny town tucked in below a cloud forest with that middle of nowhere feel, it was definitely a whole world away from the busy streets of Quito.
Mindo is high up on the slopes of the Andes where the clouds hug the humid forest and leave a layer of fine mist across the tree tops. It is green. Green and hot. It also has a distinctly hippy-ish vibe and, as Angela often tells me, she is a hippy at heart, so her heart and tummy were happy with the selection of lentils and quinoa burgers.
We stayed in a small lodge with an orchid garden that was home to an army of hummingbirds and, everyday over breakfast, we watched them whizz past us as they battled for the flower nectar along with lots of tiny brightly coloured finches.
This was the good life and it got even better with a trip to the local butterfly farm. Run by the loveliest guy, who obviously adored his job and seemed just as delighted as we were as we all watched a butterfly wriggle out of it´s chrysalis, unfold it´s damp, brand new wings and then dry them off in the warm air.
There were butterflies EVERYWHERE and the butterfly man taught us how to encourage a butterfly onto our finger with a dab of the rotten banana (mmm…delish). Angela´s head must smell of old bananas because they loved her…
We also ziplined through the forest, which was incredible. We literally zipped along ten different lines high, high, (too) high above the ground and just above the tree tops. Given the height and speed we chose not to bring the camera along, but no fear, here is an “artist´s impression”:
Oh, what´s that? You want MORE pictures of butterflies?! Don´t worry, we´ve got that covered: