A Family RTW Travel Adventure (2008-2009)
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More Than Meets The Eye


For a different view of Ecuador, we headed to Mindo, in the Cloud Forest, for a few days. But when we arrived, instead of clouds, the roads were what caught our attention. And we wondered if we’d made a mistake in coming.


But were were there. So we settled in to El Descanso (clean and with a lovely hummingbird garden behind the dining room).


We took a long walk up the tropical path to the Butterfly Garden accompanied by “Friendly” the dog. He became our spirit guide for the afternoon; he walked us everywhere until we got back to town. He made us realize that it’s not the condition of the road, but who you’re walking with that matters.


Inside the butterflies’ enclosure, I was most excited to see the irridescent blue morpho; Caroline had done a project on this very butterfly in Sra. Newman’s class in third grade. The morpho was shy, but this Ojo de Buho (“owl eyes”) butterfly found a nice spot to pose for our camera.


Early the next morning (after a 5:30 breakfast!), we joined Julia Patino, a birdwatching guide, for a trek into the misty hills to see toucans, tanagers, cuckoos, and parrots. This less rare beauty served as our alarm clock:




We spent the afternoon on the river in tied-together inner tubes while guides muscled the make-shift craft around boulders and through coursing rapids. (We left the camera at the hostel for fear of losing it in the water.)


As we prepared to head back to Quito, we stopped in for a delicious fruit shake at our favorite place in town – this juice bar run by a young ex-pat from Germany.


Mindo had grown on us, and once again we were reminded that first impressions are often wrong.

There are more pictures of Mindo posted here.


1 racehl posell { 08.26.08 at 9:42 am }


i miss you in class! but i am loving reading about your journeys and am trying not to be jealous!!!

2 Linda in Oregon { 08.26.08 at 12:25 pm }

I love what you said here, Dani –

“He made us realize that it’s not the condition of the road, but who you’re walking with that matters.”

So true.

I think about you guys every day. Enjoy your journey together.


3 Chris { 08.26.08 at 1:25 pm }

Loved this Danilog. Felt like I was almost along for the walk!

Miss you guys….

4 Moira { 08.27.08 at 9:23 am }

You guys are always on my mind as well and the kids love following your adventures. Saw this post by our curator here at NIH and thought of you guys. Let me know if you are interested!

NIH Darwin Day call for art entries

February 12, 2009, marks the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin and the 150th year since his seminal work, On the Origin of Species was published. To recognize Darwins scientific accomplishments, including his observations on plant and animal life, NIH is planning a variety of activities, such as a lecture series, film screenings, and theater performances. From November 2008 through February 2009, the Clinical Centers artistic gallery spaces will display photographs of the Galapagos Islands, where Darwin visited.

NIH employees and patients, as well as photographers from the community, may submit their photos for consideration by September 19, 2008. Artists will be notified within two weeks if their work is selected.

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