Thursday, March 9th
The sun emerged during breakfast on the main house deck while we chatted with guests from upstate New York and Toronto. We did some early morning birding and then headed into Mindo for a tour of the El Quetzal De Mindo Chocolate Factory and Restaurant. We toured the grounds to see the cacao plants and the other ingredients grown on the property. We saw how the beans were processed and tasted several chocolate samples with different purities and additives, such as chili pepper and ginger. Delicious!

We discovered that the El Quetzal restaurant was excellent. After lunch we headed across town to check out the butterfly garden. The Mariposario Nathaly was pretty cool. We roamed around inside an enclosed area full of colorful butterflies. The place also had many hummingbird feeders.

Check out the video above; some interesting interaction between these red beauties.

We took an afternoon drive and discovered a new road along the Rio Mindo. We returned for dinner at El Quetzal and enjoyed chicken with chocolate sauce and their homemade ginger ale. What a great day!

Friday, March 10th
We decided to explore a larger town west of Mindo called San Miguel de los Banco. We walked the busy streets and explored several interesting shops. 

We drove the Milpe road again and saw toucans and parrots, then headed to El Quetzal for a latte and chocolate brownie. The typical rain started in the early evening and we dined at the Mexican restaurant before heading back to the Yellow House for bed. 

Saturday, March 11th
It rained from sunup to sundown, so we remained at the Yellow House and enjoyed a restful day on our big balcony. I read (hooray for Kindle!) while Bob and James photographed more birds. We took James to dinner at the El Quetzal and highly approved of their chocolate martini made with Ecuadorian cane alcohol. James shared some stories about birding in the UK and we learned more about his world travels. A very relaxing day. 

Sunday, March 12th
Bob saw a Cock-of-the-Rock fly through the Yellow House grounds during the morning – very cool! We took a long walk above the cable car overlook with James. It was warm and humid in the jungle after all of the recent rain and we saw several birds, including a Purple Honeycreeper. In the early evening a new Yellow House guest showed up: a herpetologist student who was looking for nighttime snakes and frogs. He and Bob did a night tour around the property with flashlights and saw several types of frogs, but unfortunately (or fortunately?), no snakes. 

Monday, March 13th
Bob replaced the aging avocados on the Yellow House platform feeder with fresh bananas and very soon a colorful Motmot flew in; a Squirrel Cuckoo soon followed. We headed back up to Bellavista and chatted with several birders visiting from Europe, Canada, and the US. We saw and photographed the vibrant blue Flowerpiercer.

It was pouring when we arrived back at the Yellow House. We had dinner at the Dragonfly: a sizzling steak on a hot stone.