We spent our first week in Ecuador with an advantage – our friends Marcia and Bob. They moved down here 2 years ago. They have graciously hosted us on the last leg of our trip and let us use their house as home base. The first week we toured Quito and headed out to Mindo for a few days, about 2 hours northwest of Quito. The next two weeks we are headed south out of Quito, making our way to Cuenca and Vilcabamba. Then we’ll return to Quito for a few days , before heading to the Amazon for our last week before we head home.
Our first week was a week of contrasts. Quito is up at 9,300 feet, the same area as Seattle but 3 times the population all draped between volcanoes. Mindo is a ramshackle town of about 2,000 people. It survives on tourism due to its physical setting in the cloud forest at 4,000 feet with a rich diversity of flora and fauna. All of this is right on the equator…..0 degrees 0′ 0″.
After our first week, we headed south to Chugchilan, a very small town in the province of Cotopaxi. We are staying at a great place called the Black Sheep Inn where we’re meeting interesting people and doing some hiking before heading to Cuenca.
We’ll be back in Seattle by the middle of June. So far it has been a fun filled, incredible 4 months. We are relishing these last few weeks.