Ziplining in Mindo, Ecuador

After the bumpy start to our travels, we were more than ready for some R&R, and Mindo provided us with exactly what we needed – a fun, dusty Wild West kinda town in the mountains with banana trees and explosions of blossoms at every turn – and a 2.5 hour ziplining course high above the treetops!

We woke up to a view of blossoms and mountains, and to a marvelous breakfast on a treehouse terrace over a river. Elise squealed with delight when a hummingbird fed on blossoms just a few feet from our table. (I wasn’t prepared to get the shot, but made up for it later at CasaZen.)

After a few more refreshments and a bumpy ride in a pickup truck (Elise was thrilled to be allowed to sit in the back), the fun began! We joined a group of Swiss, Americans and Ecuadorans for a series of long zips that zigzagged high above valleys. Elise was one of the bravest in our group, opting to try the ‘Supergirl’ zip (hands free, flying like Superman). Having accomplished that, she decided to go for the Mariposa (‘Butterfly’) – hands and feet-free and upside-down!! She was exhilarated when she arrived at the platform, saying “It changed my life!” and “It felt like I was going to fall into the clouds.” Well, if my brave Little One could do it, obviously I had to give it a go, too. But I’d waited til the very last zip, which turned out to be the longest of all. Eeeek! But halfway through, I sort of just gave into the experience and started to relax. Not something I will forget anytime soon! Afterward, we joined our new friends for grilled trout in another treetop restaurant. Americans John and Molly were visiting their former exchange student, Diego, 26 years after he’d spent a year in their CT home. Love those international connections. All-in-all, a great day.