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0 julie jim y lisa downhill

Mindo landscape – Photo: Juliet Gionfriddo

The Middle of the World!

The Middle of the World!

(Ecuador)   The past two weeks have caught me hopscotching back and forth across the line of the equator!  From tour groups to post-painting competitions to restaurant makeovers in the Jama (sea level) area, I traveled last week to Quito’s high altitude of 9,350 feet (2,800 meters) before retreating to Mindo’s cloud forest at 5,006 feet (1525 meters).

Rather than confuse you with who, what, when, where and why, I present this eclectic assortment of images from the past week.

Quito often slows my pace as my body reminds me that I’m no longer at sea level!  My friend Marta helped me acclimate to the high altitude by taking a leisurely afternoon stroll through the neighborhood!

Beatrice, our waitress - What a natural beauty!

Beatrice, our waitress – What a natural beauty!

Great light and shadows

Great light and shadows

Fun Graffiti

Fun Graffiti

Inspecting architecture and details

Inspecting architecture and details

Don't forget to look up!

Don’t forget to look up!

Colorful Geraniums

Colorful Geraniums

Watercolor Museum - Geranium Window

Munoz Marino Watercolor Museum – Geranium Window

Watercolor Museum - Lovely Flowers!

Munoz Marino Watercolor Museum – Lovely Flowers!

Futbol fans crowded around television screens to watch the Ecuador-Argentina World Cup qualifying game.  They tied 1-1.

P1750523 ecuador argentina sign P1750520 futbol

P1750518 futbol ecuador argentina P1750463 ecuador argentina futbol 1  1

P1750461 futbol ecuador argentina P1750459 ecuador argentina futbol

The dogs weren't impressed with the futbol game!

The dogs weren’t impressed with the futbol game!

We squeezed the most from the afternoon!

We squeezed the most from the afternoon!

We toured some lovely museums, though the loveliest painting hung in Marta’s home…

Guayasamin Portrait of Marta

Oswaldo Guayasamin’s Portrait of Marta

…Another day, a trip to the cloud forest!

Mindo patiently awaited, and I traveled there with friends who are considering purchasing a lovely tract of land in the area.  What a delightful few days we spent exploring the wilderness!

Wow!  What a climb, and we had another few hours to go!

Wow! What a climb, and we had another few hours to go!

Can you find the deer?

Can you find the deer?

P1750907 across to far ridge

A three-hour trek up rugged terrain rewarded my friends and me with stunning views of Mindo’s cloud forests.  We were told of an old ‘house’ that perched higher up the slopes.

P1750897 down or up and across to that far ridge

0 julie yellow orchid

P1750905 light shadow leaf detail

P1750906 old cabin

Oh my! The old cabin had recently collapsed!

Unique foliage plants distracted my attention.

Unique foliage plants often distracted my attention.

The higher we trekked, the more primeval the landscape.

The higher we trekked, the more primeval the landscape.

Noting the sun’s journey toward the western horizon, we began our retreat to home base.

P1750920 mystery flowers

Trekking across old pasture...

Emerging from half tunnel!

P1750938 emerging from half tunnel

Emerging from the tunnel!

P1750952 almost back to ground zero

Trekking across old pasture…

P1750971 gardens old house

Established gardens

Lovely Moana the Cat welcomed us back to civilization!

P1750766 moana the cat

P1750813 heliconia orange

As did the hummingbirds!

P1660523 hummingbird

…And the hummingbirds led me back to Quito, where a new project began late Sunday afternoon!

P1760068 hummingbird mural

A new project!

Stay tuned!

Z

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