Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Mindo and Baños with family

Dad rented a car, risking the crazy scary drivers in Quito and its surroundings. As we raced through steep roads with sheer drop offs we munched on mangos, apples, strawberries, and two different types of bananas.

We spent two nights in Mindo, a town in the cloud forest a couple of hours west of Quito. We zip lined our way through the tree canopy.

We tubed through the white water stream and stayed at a fantastic little hotel called the Dragonfly Inn

After two days we drove the two hours back through Quito and then another three hours south to Baños on Christmas afternoon. We rented bikes for what we thought would be a couple hours of downhill riding on the path called the waterfall route. Sean's wise response here is about the fact that we had already been riding uphill for a quarter mile or so. He was the first to sort out that Dad missed the turn that would have put us on the left side of the mountain you see left of this waterfall.

The fun continued as we rode and walked uphill for nearly an hour before finally turning back. Dad's directional problems were compounded by a flat tire.

Sean and Mom called for us to return the infernal bikes and continue the waterfall route in our car. After stopping to check out this gorge, we each paid the $1 fee to cross a few hundred feet over the riverbed in a totally safe cable car towards another waterfall.

The cable car brought us to a little tavern on top of the waterfall where we fished for our own dinner in a tank of trout. You can't quite read the sign in back, but it reads "Trout, rice, plantains and salad for $3.50" We (Dad) chose to add a 600 ml beer for another dollar. Our meal for 4 was $11.75. The math still doesn't make perfect sense. Pretty sure they under charged us.

Now we're all back in Quito, looking forward to having dinner with our Ecuadorian friends. Mom, Dad, and Sean are heading home tomorrow morning. I feel a bit melancholy to be saying goodbye to them again, but I've got only five weeks left until we're all together again in beautiful (yeah right) Texas.

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