Located in the cloud forest of the Andes Mountains, is the small adventure town of Mindo. We had one day in the town and were determined to fit as much in as possible.
First on the list was tubing! We had heard many stories of tubing down tranquil rivers all over the world usually with an esky floating alongside. Tubing in Mindo turned out to be quite a different experience! We hopped in the back of a ute driving through town as random Ecuadorians ran alongside us and jumped in the tray with us. It later turned out these were our guides! A few blocks later a raft made up 5 tubes was thrown on top of the ute and we were off to the river!
Standing next to the gushing river we received our safety briefing (delivered entirely in Spanish) and were given our helmets and life jackets. We were starting to realise that this may not be the idyllic float we had anticipated!
The only information that we had been decipher from the rapid fire Spanish that was directed at us during the safety briefing was hold on to the ropes tightly and keep your legs up. So as the tubes were thrown into the river we jumped on and did just that. It was a rough and bumpy ride over rocks and down rapids but we came out the other end (relatively) unscathed.
We barely had time to cough up the last of the river water when were in the back of another pick-up truck and off on a waterfall hike! To get to the start of the hike we were required to catch a dodgy looking cable over the rainforest canopy. When we were dropped off on the other side we were told that after we had after we had finished hiking and needed to catch the cable car back simply to pick up a big stick and hit the cable three times. Someone on the other side would hear the banging and come and collect us!
We enjoyed a nice hike to several different waterfalls and enjoyed a refreshing dip as the afternoon storm hit. Fortunately, someone noticed our banging on the cable and we went back across the valley in the cable car and caught another ride back into town.
It was then time for our final activity and the one Jen was most excited about… chocolate tour and tasting!! We received a tour explaining the complete process involved in making chocolate in a local farm and then sat down and enjoyed some free samples. We had been told from people that we had met that we would be more than full of chocolate after the tour was over. These people clearly had not met Jen and after the tour had ended we had to return later that night for Dinner!