WAY UP HIGH IN ECUADOR
We travel by bus three hours north of Quito learning about the flora and fauna onroute.
I spot a cycling sign (Mountainbiking) so make the bus stop so I can run back and get the photo for all those mountain bike enthusiasts back home.
After winding 10 kilometres down a well formed track, we arrive at the most beautiful modern lodge-Mashpi-for our Cloud Forest experience. Staffed by 70 including many from the local Mashpi village, we are looked after completely.
We are encouraged to rise at dawn, 6.30am Mashpi time, as this is the busiest time to observe the birdlife. We either wander around outside the lodge in the morning mist, or stand on the roof top terrace our hands wrapped around a steaming cup of coffee. Each bird is pointed out by the excited Mashpi Naturlists, and we can get a close up view through the telescopes provided.
Breakfast at 7.30am, gumboots and rain capes on, we are off on a hike down well formed bushtracks to view butterflies, Toucans,Waterfalls and hummingbirds.
A welcome lunch and a bit of a lull, before heading out again at 3.00pm to ride the SkyBike, suspended 200 metres over the bush clad canyon.
A sumptuous dinner accompanied by Chilean wines, and stories of the day, before crashing into cloud like pillows to recharge the batteries, and be ready for tomorrow.