Ecuador Tour Day One

Tour Time
Our tour started this morning by meeting Romy at 8:00am along with the 25 other members of our group. It was a mix of 50+ age groups with 2 young ladies in their mid 20’s but mainly was top heavy in the silver sector.
We took off for the Mindo Cloud Forest and about two hours from Quito we stopped at a family owned orchid reserve. We hiked for about an hour over very slippery and challenging terrains, foot bridges over the creek but we were treated to a beautiful waterfall and pond believed to have reviving powers and some unusual flowers and breath taking photo ops along the way. Thank goodness for my trekking stick and my Wayne!! Totally worthwhile stop.
Coming from a tour group of 5 in Peru this group of 27 was handled a bit different. There are rules and the most important one is that if you are not on the bus on time the bus leaves without you without any exception. Guess we’ll certainly be on time on this trip!!!
A little further down the road on our bus we went to a restaurant tucked a ways off the road that also had cabanas, a pool and it advertised a spa. The dining area had a floor made of teak wood and shoes were not allowed in the restaurant but we were given little disposable slippers to wear. The room overlooked a humming bird garden and during lunch we were entertained by many different varieties.
Lunch started with a hearts of palm and apple salad that was delicious and was followed by an entree of either farm raised trout (which most of the group had) or grilled chicken. There was a creamy sauce which had a lot of oregano and was very tasty. One other lady (originally from India but lives in New Jersey) and myself had the vegetarian option which was a deliciously seasoned rice dish with lots of vegetables. Perfect option.
After lunch we were able to wander thru the gardens and enjoy the hummers up close and personal. Wayne got a great photo of one iridescent hummer with an extremely long tail. He perched right in front of us and was the perfect model posing for our photos. Really awesome moment!
The trip back out of the cloud forest was really slow as only one lane in each direction and it is the main road to the coast for the trucks.
We had a welcome meeting and drink at 6:15 pm to have everyone meet and Romy gave us the program for tomorrow.
We then took off walking five blocks to the main restaurant and night club district. Being Friday night the main square was jumping with throngs of young people. Romy had suggested a restaurant called Mamas and we decided to try. We were taken to the third floor which overlooks the square and along with a great meal we had a floor show of people watching that couldn’t be beat.
Great day, great evening!!!!

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