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.
Want to know more about chiggers? Wikipedia has a good article, as does MedicineNet.
thank you for the warning about chiggers . I have had several bad experiences back in the US with them. So much so I had to get a steroid shot to relieve the severe itching.