What a 2 weeks this has been – we’ve seen incredible birds of both prey and paradise, tree frogs and some giant hopping spiders, as well as celebrating my birthday half way through in the beautiful town of Mindo. Whilst we’ve been here in Shino-Pi we’ve been working on 2 projects: one is a small house in the woods and one is a storage and preparation room for the sauna. Folding about 400 leaves can get a little tedious especially in the rainy season. There’s been a lot of hard work involving a lot of team work and moral support, but it was so worth it for the final results!

To celebrate my birthday we travelled to the adventure town of Mindo which is deep in the cloud forest – as soon as we arrived there were beautiful hummingbirds all around us, it was like I’d arrived in paradise! I had to face my fears that morning though; 10 zip lines through the jungle followed by a Tarzan swing which was the biggest leap of faith I’ve ever taken, I think the
shaking has only just stopped! The cable car over the top of the forest was also incredible with beautiful views of waterfalls all the way down – this place really was a dream come true for me. We also visited the Mariposario which was a butterfly reserve which really was a magical way to spend my birthday! Mindo Night Walks is a must (especially if you’re a spider fan!), we saw tiny tree frogs, spiders, a tarantula and kept a look out for snakes too.

We had the most incredible leaving party consisting of a taster menu of traditional foods followed by a full meal which had been cooked in leaves over a fire, squeezing sugar canes, a jungle walk and lots of games! As a part of the taster menu they had some grubs that you could eat raw but you had to get the heads off first (I couldn’t bring myself to try it but a few of the boys did, they wriggled so much!). In the afternoon we played games all together; tug of war was won by the girls twice, as much to the boys disappointment: the look on their faces was priceless!

I’ve loved the 2 weeks spent here in beautiful Shino-Pi but definitely ready to get to Galápagos tomorrow!