Sunday, June 12, 2011

27 bug bites later...

...I can cross jumping off a cliff next to a water fall off my bucket list.

Jordana, Alissa and I went to Mindo this weekend, a cloud forest renowned for its biodiversity. I'm not so sure about that though, because the same annoying stupid kind of bug kept on biting me. This isn't your average whimpy kind of American bug, these creatures aren't afraid of 98.8% DEET. And their bites make you bleed.

Our trip started off with a 2.5 hour bus ride from Quito for $2.50. The bus driver reminded me of how my father drives, which is not a good thing. The whole way he kept pushing the gas pedal and releasing, push, release, push, the entire way there. Good thing I have a tough stomach.

The hostel we stayed at was probably one of the nicer ones I've been to. It was owned by an ex pat who used to be a nurse in the states, but came to Ecuador to do the Peace Corp, fell in love with an Ecuadorian, married him, and moved to Mindo to start a hostel.

Another thing I can cross off my bucket list: riding in the back of a pick up truck. There are taxis in Mindo but the trucks will take you to the cascadas (waterfalls) for a dollar. The view was so beautiful on our way up, but I couldn't take many pictures for fear of being bounced out of the truck. Despite my sore sacrum at the end of the ascent, it was a really cool, scenic ride ride.

La Cascada de Nambillo is probably the most popular waterfall in Mindo. And probably the most popular thing to do there is to jump off the cliff into the bottom of the waterfall. Which, has been on my to do list ever since I saw some boy meets girl movie where they both jump into the waterfall and then start making out or something. This jump was not as romantic, since A) my Bou bear wasn't there and B) the jump was friggin 40 feet high and I was screaming the whole way down. Despite all this and the fact that I probably wouldn't do it again, it was so worth it.

Alissa said she'd kiss this boy on the lips if he dived in head first.
He chickened out though and didn't even jump at all.
Grow some balls.

After our scary descent, we took a chocolate making tour at this place where they make their own organic chocolate. Sweet, literally. We were so chocolate out by the end of the tour, yet we couldn't resist the BEST BROWNIE EVER that came at the end. I'm telling you I've never eaten anything like it, it was so crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and so, so rich.
I'm entering cephalic phase just thinking about it.

Probably the best, richest brownie I've ever had.
Crispy on the top, melty in the middle.

Mariposa (butterfly) in Mariposas de Mindo

The next day in Mindo we woke up early to do a canopy zipline course (10 ropes $10!). I've never done a course like this before, so I don't know if it's normal to be able to do all this crazy upside down stuff inside the US or if you can only find it outside, but either way I lived to tell the tale.

Oh crapo, I just got guacamole all over my keyboard because I'm trying to type and eat at the same time. Wasted avocado.

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