After our wonderful days in the Sacha Lodge in the Amazon jungle, we drive from the snorting volcano Reventador on over the highlands with heights over 4,000 meters back to the Pacific side to Mindo. A small and pretty place on only 1,200 hm in the middle of the mountain cloud forests. There are also many Ecuadorians from Quito that have a weekend residence, so there are many sweet restaurants. We visit a large butterfly farm and drive with our Quad Shujoo and by cable car (better: “cable car basket”) to a very beautiful waterfall hike. We enjoy nature, it is still very humid, but the climate is a bit more pleasant than in the Amazon lowlands.
After so much nature, culture and urban life are once again the order of the day. We spend two days in Quito and have Shujaa parked in a very central, but still quiet and guarded 24 hour car park. First, we go by cable car from 3,000 meters altitude (although almost 1,000 meters lower than La Paz, Quito still belongs to the highest capitals worldwide) to over 4,000 meters and realize from the top the huge dimensions of this city. Over 50 km of north / south expansion with only 10 km east / west latitude, pushed into a relatively narrow valley, there live at least 3 million people. Quito itself is on different terraced levels, on the surrounding mountains there are juicy grass and cows …. like at home in the Alps. Afterwards we visit countless churches and monasteries. Quito is the first city on our trip to South America that has a fairly consistent colonial image. In contrast, we see the modern business districts with extravagant skyscrapers and western standards. Here, too, the strong American influence can be felt with many fast food stores and drive-throughs.
Then we drive out into the direction to the airport, where we relax on a beautiful hacienda a few days (in fact, our pace slows down, who would have thought that ;-)), and there we will also park Shujaa during our expected next highlight – a one-week sailing trip through the Galapagos Islands.