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Equator pace

October 4, 2011

“We´ll arrive at 5.30, in time to see the birds at dawn” the guide tells me. It´s good news. I´ve been trying for a few weeks to encourage some locals to come up and see the reserve before finding Danny – who works with a group of local guides. He´s bringing a group of local guides up to see if it would be a suitable place to bring tourists to see the cock of the rock. It will mean a few more visitors for the reserve and a way for locals to make some money from sustainable conservation efforts in their community.

I spent the evening tidying the cabin and making sure things were in order. But now, as i sit on the deck in the light of dawn, glancing up at the still empty entry trail, i feel slightly beaten. My watch says 6.15, no sign of the group. I go inside for my 3rd cup of coffee but change my mind instead and go for a walk. After all, despite my frustrations, it is dawn in the Ecuadorian cloud forest and the birds are singing. On a high branch, getting the days first sun, two chestnut mandabilled toucans are singing. I walk along Sendero Guillermo, following above the river and chuckle about my morning – duped again. You see this is not the first time I´ve been fooled. “We´ll be down in the morning”, “meet me here at 2”, “we´d love to, see you tomorrow” etc..

Maybe it´s the heat?  There are amazing pineapples to be eaten and excellent coffee to be drunk. I suppose it´s no wonder people don´t get around to things. But is one of the cultural differences which we are having to get used to.

Don´t get me wrong, the slowdown of life is great. To get away from towns and people and traffic and hurrying around to get things done. Six weeks ago we ´hurried´to get the bus to Quito. that was the last time i remember looking at my watch out of anything more than interests sake. Mindo is excellently sleepy most afternoons. Last week i went tot he veggie shop in the main street, got 2 pineapples, bannanas and was starting to bag some tomatoes before the Senora woke to take my money and give me a few sweet potatoes – “for the soup” (?)

By the time i get back from my walk i´ve decided to chill out. I need to start living at equator pace. What´s the hurry? I shall meander, loll and laze in the best Equatorian fashion. Let things happen when they happen.

I just wish they wouldn´t not happen at 5.30am…



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