Saturday, February 19
Yesterday we took an Uber to the North. We made a quick stop at Mitad del Mondo, the centre of the world. This point is at 0’0″0, so the equator. The final destination is rainy Mindo.
Today is an early start, 6:30 h. Walk out of town on the farm road. Some birds and a hummingbird. After an hour I arrive at a track. It goes down and to the river, then follows the river into the farmland. Now a bridge crosses the river to the monastery. Not for the public. Follow the river on the muddy track. A guy in rubber boots passes me while I take some pictures. The track ends at the suspension bridge for pedestrians. I take the wobbling bridge and the guy is already at the other side. The path is steep and muddy. Dead end. Back and try another path. A nice waterfall and then uphill to find the path again. This path goes up into the jungle. Seems this is a new path. Muddy, but mostly free of vegetation. Several open spots to enjoy the view and get some breath. At the second waterfall I take a break and enjoy the view of the green mountains and jungle. The toucans I heard before are crossing the valley. I take some pictures and then the toucans, more than 10, come over to the trees next to me. Impossible to take a picture, but still very cool. Back on the slippery track. On the farm road a driver with a pickup offers me a ride and so I get easy back in town. It’s almost 11:30 h and time to go to the Hacienda San Vincente for a small lunch or coffee and (humming)birds. We walk there and discover there is no food at the moment. They recommend La Roulette, 1,5 km further. We walk to it and then the road stops, left or right? instead of straight. We ask a man and he brings us through the fields to La Roulette. He, Carlos, did his promotion in science at the TU Delft. The world is small. After a good lunch we go back to the main road and to the cable car. It’s a simple one. It’s higher than thought, beautiful views and we end on top. There we walk down to the road and follow this to the sign to Las Tangaras Park. This path is muddy and narrow, through the jungle. Sweaty weather and after 1,5 hours we’re at the river. Cross the river with the suspension bridge and go to the cabin in the park. A Californian couple tells us about the park and we do a track. More climbing. Back to the cabin they offer tea and water. At the veranda she tells that they stay here for half a year to maintain the park and count hummingbirds every day. They call a taxi for us, we have to walk half an hour to the main road and get to Mindo again.