Finding a moment like church in Mindo.

We woke up at 5:30 and got ready, eating the pineapple we bought in Otavalo for breakfast. It was early, it was tasty.

We checked out, walked to the bus stop, and got on the bus during the morning commute. It was packed.

We found the next bus with a local’s friendly help, and rode a few easy hours, buying little yucca bread things stuffed with cheese. They were tasty.

We arrived in Mindo, 400 species of birds and 250 of butterflies, walked around checking out hostels then picking Casa de Cecilia, $7 each for a private room, vociferous river outside the window, and park-like grounds full of colorful birds. It was gorgeous.

Went to for a walk beside a river in the cloud forest, then to El Quetzal coffeeshop/restaurant for cups of local coffee and lemongrass tea, sitting semi-outside at a table surrounded by hanging flowers, cloud forest on the hills all around. It was delicious and beautiful.

Pic from see there for a few more good little ones.

A rufous tailed hummingbird with scintillating green body, dusky red tail, and brilliant red beak flew up, drank nectar from a blossom next to our table. It was colorful.

The place, the nature, the moment…it was nearly sacred.

Saw K’s wide-eyed and utterly guileless wonder and joy at seeing such a beautiful creature, an animal not found in Belgium that she saw as semi-mythical until seeing her first one fairly recently.

A building, bleeding statues, and guilty sermons don’t do it for me. A piece of beautiful nature? Simple and honest wonder and joy? Now it was a brush with something sacred. Now it was church.