Last weekend we visited Mindo, an ecotourism town about two and a half hours from Quito. We stayed at Hacienda San Vicente, also known as La Casa Amarilla (the Yellow House).
- wonderful coffee, milk, and fruits, grown on the hacienda or on nearby farms
- an open porch with hummingbird feeders (Ecuador has 135 species of hummingbirds, as opposed to 17 species which breed in North America)
- surrounding fruit trees with lots of feasting birds
- private forest trails with flowers, lush vegetation, and even donkeys bringing fresh milk down the mountain
- friendly and helpful owners
Here are some photos; click on one and you’ll be able to scroll through the gallery of full-size photos. Then hit “esc” to get back to the blog.
Christmas Bird Count (CBC) (Conteo Navideño Aves)
Trails, Flowers, and Butterflies (Senderos, Flores, y Mariposas)
Almost two days after our four-hour hike on the hacienda’s beautiful trails we realized that we had brought home more than memories and photos: chiggers! Chiggers are the juvenile or larvae form of tiny mites which live in tall, wet grasses and catch rides on passers-by. They crawl under your clothes, latch on (but evidently don’t burrow), and chomp away for a few days. In our case, the result was nasty, itchy welts (about 25 for Scott and 15 for Jody), which persisted for several days.
Lesson learned: use strong insect repellant on feet and ankles, tuck long pants into your socks, and shower well with lots of soap after each hike.