Galapagos Day 10, Quito Day Two

A new city and the adventure continues!  A view out of the breakfast room and another of the lobby in the hotel show us promising things to come today.  And a shot of the Cathedral that I gave you a night glimpse of last night.

We get into our taxi that has picked us up on time and we drive through crowded streets and sights of a third world city make themselves known to us.  Graffitied walls everywhere are in stark contrast to other places we’ve seen this trip.

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Within an hour, we have left the confines of the city and even come across a restaurant where a famous American Chef has done a review.

Soon we get to our first destination of the day, an Overlook into a scenic valley! Wait!  Is that another pair of lovers I see?

Travelling on past a roadside restaurant (We weren’t hungry, LOL), the scenery wetted our appetite for more tropical, almost jungle-like views.  A stop at a hummingbird sanctuary proved a fun excursion and we watched literally hundreds of these amazing creatures!

But the day is still young and we move on to our main destination of the day, the “Mindo Cloud Forest”.  Another typical Ecuadorian sign greets us at the entrance.

We take a step into a jungle trail and before we know it, we are deep into a lush forest that takes us down, down, down to a rushing river with all kinds of tropical sights to see!  Then it’s back up the other side with glimpses up through the trees to sunny skies and fluffy white clouds.  Airplants abound on the sides of trees and we arrive at our ride back to the side our taxi is parked on!

Even though the ride appeared a bit rickety, it also was sturdy enough for us to trust it and we soared over the tops of the jungle trees where we arrived back at our taxi!

The days adventures are far from over and we travel back towards Quito and stop at a butterfly farm where strange species of butterflies, some huge and some tiny, invade our senses and flit around us happily.  The largest, “Owl” butterflies, are named for the ‘eye’ like spot on their wings.  We witnessed many different types of Chrysalis’s, even shiny golden ones!

And it’s now barely lunchtime!  We pull into the small town of Mindo where we treat our driver to lunch and a beer.

He then takes us to a bird sanctuary that is just a simple backyard that a lady lovingly maintains.  It was very dark under the canopy of trees, so photos were hard to get, but our minds will always remember!

Now we head back closer to Quito, but there is another stop to make.  We arrive at the “Equator Museum” that sits on the actual Equator.  We visit shops and statues and a guide tells us about this interesting place.  A sundial on the Equator that does not cast a shadow on two days each year!

Did anyone see the treehouse we passed by?  Go back and check it out!

Colorful flowers and totem poles stand below beautiful skies and we just have to get photos of us standing on the Equator!  And I even get to do something that is impossible anywhere else in the world, balance a fresh egg on the head of a nail!  This can only be done on the true Equator!  Check out the videos of water draining on both the north and the south of the Equator.  The Myth proven about which direction water spins when it goes down a drain!

Then we get back in Quito at sunset and there is time for some sunset photos.  We find a bite to eat for dinner and there’s still some time for some more night photos!

Well, it’s late and I’d better get to bed for tomorrow will be a new day!  See you then!