So, a new country, our first impressions after crossing the border were, wow these roads are good and…
double wow look at the scenery.
We headed for the town of Ibarra to do a few errands then on to a campsite at the nearby Laguna Yahuarcocha. On Saturday nights the campsite owners organise a BBQ for anyone who wants to socialise, it was a nice opportunity to chat to others who had already “done” the more southerly SA countries and pick up some tips. In fact a Swiss couple made a very valid point when we expressed some concern that we’d be hitting Patagonia in early winter if we carried on at our current rate of progress. We had intended to just head south and see everything we wanted on the way. Instead, if we stick to our plan until we have finished Bolivia but then travel down to Patagonia without stopping for extended periods, we can make it there in the Autumn then afterwards head north again to explore Argentina and Chile. Quite obvious really but we needed someone else to point it out to us!
The is also a motor sport track at Yahuarcocha, it is used for occasional competitions and individuals can pay $25 for some time on the track, I was keen to get Juanita out there, just for the photo opportunity really. John was not so keen, oh well.
We headed southwest to Mindo a small town in the foothills of the Andes. It is popular for birdwatching and exploring the cloud forest, quite jungly but cool due to the altitude of 1300m.
We went on an early morning bird watching walk and spotted toucans, parrots, kites, woodpeckers and many smaller colourful birds. Unfortunately we didn’t capture photos of any wildlife apart from…..
A small flock of twitchers.
The plants and butterflies were easier to photograph.
We had some great times with Karl a Cornishman who has fallen in love with Ecuador but not enough to leave Corwall behind permanently. We look forward to meeting up again sometime in the future.
On our way to Quito we stopped off in the area of Mitad del Mundo which is a tourist attraction based around the Equator. However, it was a Sunday and looked very busy, there was an entry fee and the actual Equator is a few hundred metres in a different direction so we decided not to go in. Instead we took the GPS for a walk.
Here is John in a not very scenic but authentic spot on the true Equator. Not sure if there was some weird atmospheric thing going on but John’s hair was doing some strange stuff!
Next stop Galápagos???x