Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sachatamia Lodge Mindo Ecuador

Mindo is a couple of hours drive from Quito the Capital of Ecuador and is a little lower in altitude and therefore a little warmer. It is in the cloud forest though so it is prone to low cloud and rain.  The  Sachatamia Lodge is made of wood as are all the cabins which gives the interiors a wonderful warm feeling and the exteriors blend in to the landscape.

 Around this lodge there are thousands of humming birds, of many different varieties.  They are not shy and if you patiently stand by one of the many feeders they will even sit on your fingers!

The lodge has a wonderful place to sit to look at the view, watch the birds and even have a drink a the same time.

Many of the group that I was in were avid bird watchers some of them even making a living studying birds so you saw this a lot.

We arrived at lunch time and as all our meals were included lunch was served.  The first course was hearts of palm salad a favourite item in Ecuador. It was light and tasty with the addition of corn another very popular ingredient.

This was followed by trout served with tostones (twice fried plantain) and buttered vegetables.

My trout was a little overcooked, but others were not and the sauce was delicious.  By the end of the trip I was quite used to a 3 course lunch, something I will have to get unused to now!

Another treat that we had here. and also several other times during the trip was empanadas.  But unlike the empanadas I am used to, in Ecuador they are often not made of pastry, but yucca or plantain or mixture of the two.  I really liked these and the ones at Sachatamia were particularly good especially with their home made hot sauce.

Our cabin was a little way away from the main lodge, and was comfortable, clean and cozy.

The best part was the view, this is the view from the bathroom window.

While staying here, most of our time was spent walking the surrounding terrain looking for birds, trying to get a good photograph of the humming birds and we also did an outing to a "chocolate factory." Hard to call it a factory really as it was a one or two man operation with one room for grinding and pressing the chocolate and 3 conching machines the size of mixing bowls.

They grew all the flavourings to their chocolate such as chili and ginger in the grounds surrounding.  Of course we bought some, though not too much as we were heading to the Amazon with its heat and no refrigeration.  The chili chocolate was absolutely delicious with a real hit of heat and we enjoyed it that evening after dinner.

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