Published: July 21st 2012July 21st 2012
Mindo Day 2:
We were up and at it by 6:30, but didn't get breakfast until almost 8am, mostly due to a group of National Geographic students on our back patio (where they serve breakfast) watching and photographing the birds. Around 8:30, we started our hike up to the Ruta de las Cascadas or the Waterfalls Route. You can take a taxi, but it costs quite a bit and we enjoy hiking anyways. Well, after all the hiking we did, both up and down, we almost wished we'd used the Taxi... on the way back at least. To get to the Waterfalls, you first have to reach the Tarabita, a cable car that goes over the valley to the side of a mountain where the waterfalls are. Reaching it on foot is about a 3 kilometer hike, almost entirely uphill. We went by the Canopy/zipline place along the way and were still considering whether to do it or not, on the way back. It is rather cheap at $15 for 13 lines. After reaching the Tarabita, we paid our $5 for the Tarabita ride (both ways) and our entry to the Waterfalls. The ride across the gorge/valley was uneventful... thankfully.
After arriving on the other side, we started what turned out to be a very enjoyable, but gruelling 4 hour hike to view at least 6 different waterfalls. Although we climbed up and down alot, each waterfall had its own character and was worth the hike. The last watefall we hiked to, feeling quite tired and thirstly by now, supposedly had cold beverages, but after hiking all the way down, we found out they only have them on weekends when things are busier. So, we climbed back up to the Tarabita platform, rode back across and started looking for drinks. We finally found a place half way down the hill to Mindo, but because the power had been out all day, they weren't cold...but still quite refreshing.
Having started our hike at 8:30am, we arrived back in Mindo at 3:30pm, and immediately started looking for a place to eat. We hadn't had anything to eat since 8am that morning. The restaurant we settled on didn't have a name, but we liked the menu. Manoli and I had what they call Churrasco, which was rice, eggs, beef filletes, and french fries. A drink was included for about 6 bucks
each. Tim had another pizza, this time ham and cheese and said it was much better than last nights'. After lunch, we went back to the hostal to rest a bit, then out for a coffee and stroll before bed.
Tomorrow we catch the 6:30 bus for Quito, then transfer to the southern terminal for our trip to Latacunga.
There are more photos below