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Published: July 10th 2008
A visit to the cloud forest of Mindo always promises to be fun - unfortunately I spent the first day throwing up unable to eat or drink anything but undeterred we set off walking in search of the mariposaria that was ´just up the road´.
It turned out to be a four kilometre walk which is not much fun whilst feling very ill and sans water. Mindo is really beautiful and a wonderful contrast to the mountains that are normally the view from the bus window.
The downside was that it was just as hot as at the beach so I was dying of both heat and mosquito bites (apparently I was the free buffet as every mosquito in a two mile radius seemed to pay me a rather irritating visit.)
Eventually got there and I have to say that it was definitely one of the highlights of my trip to Mindo. Absolutely beautiful butterflies including dozens of 'Owl eyed butterflies' which are a dull brown with large eyes on the underside but a gorgeous electric blue inside.
I will have to admit that the majority of my photos were taken whilst sitting on the same bench
feeling awful (but that shows how close they come!)
I tried to stand up long enough for the poor girl to give us the guided tour but it was far too hot so I just lay on a bench starring at the pretty flutterbies above me - very relaxing.
Made a few new friends having made the mistake of wearing a fruity perfume (which to be honest may explain the mosquitos) so played host to a bunch of butterflies that wanted a rest.
I was still feeling terrible and not up to the walk back so, rather randomly, we hired quadbikes for the drive back. This entailed getting soaked in muddy water as naturally it was too much effort to drive around the giant crater-like puddles everywhere!!
The next day I was feeling well enough to brave getting soaked in icy water so we went tubing. Basically clinging on for dear life to inflatable rubber rings strapped together and let onto the river. Unfortuantely it wasn't rainy season so it was slightly more sedate than last year's trip.
Even more unfortunately it's nesting time for hummingbirds so despite my running around like a mad thing
with my camera at full zoom everytime one appeared I was unable to get any photos. I've only seen three the whole time we've been here!
Got absolutely soaked and, idiot that I am, as I didn't want to be the only one in a bikini I thought I might as well do it in my clothes. The up side would be that a very fast quadbike ride in the wind soon dries soaking clothes. We drove for about half an hour away from the town and were about to turn back when the quadbike decided to die on us.
As I am utterly useless with technology I was very glad that a passing car stopped to help. Made it up to the top to take a ride in what was literally a wire basked 530metres above the canopy. Very pretty view once I managed to open my eyes!
The quadbike managed to break down a further two times just to be helpful although you will be impressed to know I (almost) managed to drive it by myself. I ddi crash but that's not really the point. And I do have proof in the form of video
footage but the computer here has decided not to like my camera at the moment.
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