In the weekend we finally got out of the city! Very exciting. We organised a trip with a few of our friends (that´s right, we have friends) Wenke (lovely German girl from our hostel), Martin and Anke (a German couple from our school, also lovely) up to Mindo, a wee town 2 hours bus-ride north west of Quito in the cloud forest. It was AMAZING! such a lovely warm climate, with lush bush, lots of birds, friendly people AND it was even safe to walk around at night-time! We found a lovely place to stay that a random american guy told us about, about 10mins walk out of town. It was a little paradise; hammocks on the deck looking out into the trees, open air house, swimming pool and spa, and we had it all to ourselves. On saturday we walked to a mariposario, butterfly farm, with about a million butterflys and I finally got to see lots of hummingbirds too, amazing! Then we hailed a pick-up and rode on the back up to a walking track that leads down to the river and waterfalls. Half-way down the track we spotted some sweet zip-lining high up across the river, and after watching a couple of people jump off we decided we had to do it – how could you not for only 3 hux? I was a wee bit scared when the guy in charge left 3 teenage boys to get my harness organised and clipped in, but i didn´t die in the end so it was all good. Once that was done tiene hambre (we were hungry, a phrase that me and Dave know well) so we stopped at a wee bbq also down the track (they honestly set up bbqs everywhere you can imagine) and had big fried bananas with cheese…i know, cheese, everything has cheese, BUT it was actually really yum! After feasting we carried on down to the river and saw a big concrete water-slide and a place for jumping into the river, which dave and martin were very pleased about, although after walking a bit further down-stream and seeing a deadly waterfall and a couple of ropes to grab onto so you weren´t swept down said waterfall, I was a little hesitant. The others didn´t seem to mind and bravely had a go on the slide, and after a bit of encouragement i did too, and once again I didn´t die. Dave, Martin, and Wenke were muy valiente (very brave) and jumped from 10 metres above the river, each of them looking a bit beaten up when they emerged from the water. Loco chicos. That night we went out for tea, it was great eating and drinking and chatting with lovely people. I also learnt how to eat a whole fish, totes awesome bro. The atmosphere was great, people just hanging out on the one street of the town, dogs roaming, kids playing, vehicles giving way to everyone – certainly somewhere you could spend a lot longer than just 1 weekend.
As written earlier, we´ve finished up at la escuela español, feeling a bit more confident about getting by, and able to understand a bit of what people are saying which is pretty cool. Even though we´re pleased to be finished and it feels like our holiday is actually starting (we got to sleep in til 9 today!), it was definitely worth doing and I´d recomend it to anyone wanting to travel in a country where English isn´t spoken much. Semana Santa (easter friday) is coming up so we´re looking forward to seeing some crazy procesions through town, where people wear purple capes and hoods, a bit reminiscent of kkk-style pointiness… I hear they make a mean soup with everything in it around Easter time so I´m on the look-out for that (of course I am).
Love you all lots, and have a lovely easter xox