Still on a jungle high from the Amazon, we decided to do a day trip to the Mindo cloud forest this Wednesday. Talk about a paradise... Mindo truly looks like something out of a movie. It is one of the most biodiverse spots in the world and a top birdwatching destination. Anyone visiting Ecuador must plan a trip to Mindo, it boasts over 450 species of birds, a butterfly garden, an orchid garden, canopy ziplining, a chocolate factory, and of course our propose for this trip: the waterfalls. Having only about 5 hours in Mindo (much too short a time) we decided to hike through the 6 waterfalls trail. These are big cascades, many of which you can bathe/swim in, but my personal favorite was the Cascada de Nambilla for one simple reason: you can jump.
I had no intention of jumping when we arrived, in fact I didn't even bring a swim suit (dumb.) But once we were there and I saw the fall I thought "When am I ever going to have this opportunity again." So I climbed up to the ledge above the falls and observed the drop. There was one local jumping already so I asked him if I would break my legs and he said "probably not".... so with that reassurance I thought "Viva la vida!" and went for it. I have a video of the jump. Now in the video it doesn't look like that big of a fall, but believe me, from up there it looked quite high, and it was. Turns out it's about a 10 meter (~35 feet) drop. As a point of reference for those of you at home, that's the height of the very top diving platform at the outdoor natatorium... the one you're not allowed to go off of. Also, when I was actually jumping I imagined myself taking a deep breath and then running and leaping off of the ledge like an action hero... In reality I kind of just waddled up to the edge and hopped off timidly, not the coolest looking thing, but at least I did it (twice actually, it was really fun.)
I have tons of pictures that I'm going to try to get uploaded to the flickr, for now I'll just upload the best ones here.
|The view from our cable car ride.|
|Kamila swimming in one of the falls|
|Kamila and I swimming in Cascada de Nambilla|