After the beach up North, 3 buses and a hitch into town, Antonieta greeted me with her arms wide open, a huge smile and the expression of pure love that most Latin cultured mothers naturally tend to do with kisses, hugs, soft cute names, giggles,humming, deep breaths, as if she hadn’t seen me in years (which she hadn’t so it was a very natural “expected” expression). I was just as happy to see her, but with less nick names and sound effects hehehehehe. Names that are common in the Latin culture are “mi amor (my love), mi quierida (my dear), mi preciosa (my precious), mi corozon (my heart), mi hermana (my sister), mi ninya (my child), etc. Although it can seem overly exaggerated at times, it can actually be quite authentic, such as this time with Antonieta. She is really one of those special souls who I commonly meet and have a deep connection with.
I’m happy to share, that it’s becoming more common now than ever before for people to make connections that feel like a lifetime, or from a past life and people don’t know any other way to express themselves in the moment except through the verbal and physical, and it’s all perfect. I get this often anywhere I go and it’s always a reminder of a bonus to why I love traveling and connecting with people. I love seeing how happy people get just by one person’s presence. I know it’s not actually me as Doris, it’s what’s inside me and what’s inside them that recognizes the divinity in one another and that spark that’s reignited that was created by the catalyst of mystery, surrender and trust. Hence the term “Namaste” translated from Sanskrti as “The divine in me recognizes/acknowledges/bows to the divine in you” and it’s been around for centuries because indeed it’s in all of us. We are all part of the divine, no separation except through illusions and self created stories and limitations.
Antonieta and I had a phenomenal day trip the the waterfalls. We took a taxi up to the entrance, took a cable car (a tarabita) to the other side and 2 min later entered an enchanting world like no other. This is what Mindo is all about! This is why it’s called Mindo (Mundo=world, Linda/Lindo=beautiful) and indeed this is a beautiful world. It’s like no other in Ecuador. It’s the cloud forest, not a rainforest, not a jungle, not a forest or a park.
Mindo is known to have 10% of the world’s population of birds. The vast array of birds, butterflies, flowers, trees, waterfalls, trails, rivers, and plants all intertwined into one area is astonishing and a real gift. Located only 2 hours from the capital of Quito, it’s the perfect get away, opposite to the beach, but nonetheless just as relaxing. There is nature constantly around and not just one body of water. There’s something about green, green, green. Green is the colour of plant’s blood. And we are what we eat. When we eat green we’re feeding ourselves fuel for our blood. When we look, feel, smell and touch green, even think green we are nourishing ourselves beyond the physical. So imagine being 24 hours in green territory. It’s no wonder people live past 100 years of age here.
Trekking through this gigantic playground of nature was like the feeling of “a kid in a candy store”. So many colours, flavours, textures, scents, sights, and sounds. It can make one giddy and euphoric. It was truly beautiful to observe Antonieta. Even at 60 years of age, her joy and enthusiasm has only gotten stronger if anything as the years pass by. Every colour, shape and sound intrigued her and caused her to jump with glee. (See pictures below of the many abundant delights of nature born creations that she was sparked by).
We reached our main destination, the Las Ondinas waterfall. Many believe that one of the archangel’s presence makes the waters healing and that’s what causes the colour to appear bluish green. It wasn’t the warmest day, but being from Canada, having a strong immune system and the desire to feel these healing waters on my skin, I immersed myself. I brought a bikini like the prepared traveler that I am, Antonieta went in fully clothed focusing on her goal, to feel the power of the water surround her, be in her, become her. After 2min of being fully immersed the body eventually, naturally becomes warm, an automatic healthy response, like taking an ice bath. Any discomforts that I may have had in my body were completely nonexistent and I don’t know what it was, but I felt this immense explosion of energy surge through my body. I felt it even when we were walking back into town. I got all giddy myself and began splashing in the water like a child. As I often do during my travels, I drank from these “healing waters” and was not at all surprised by its sweet, delicious, refreshing taste.
We didn’t bring any bottles with us and the one time I wish someone had littered, there was no bottle in site. We both asked the Universe to send us a bottle and when we looked up from our spot there was a couple sitting, drinking Gatorade. I never thought I’d be this happy to see a Gatorade bottle. We asked them if they had an extra bottle and they said “NO”. But when they saw our facial expressions of disappointment, one of them chugged the last bit and threw us the bottle. We were so happy. We rinsed it and filled it up with intention to create a ceremony when we returned to her home. We gathered some rocks to place by our bedsides, packed our stuff, dried and continued back to the top to head back by foot.
We were both so energized and since it was her first time at the waterfalls, she couldn’t and wouldn’t stop thanking God for my presence. I desired to be in this part of Mindo for years and so I was grateful for my presence and her presence, and the lack of many tourists’ presence on this particular day. The New Moon is kind, the Universe is kind, the power of trust, surrender, making an effort, and showing up are all so very kind!
Heading back into town by foot her knee gave in so we took a taxi for the half of our journey back to her home. FOr a 60 year old she is in top shape but some things are inevitable in some people no matter what part of the world they live in.
On the way back I noticed a shop called “The Beehive”. Being a lover of the bees and their sweet nectar and pollen, I was intrigued by the name. I had intention to check it out. As we passed it I noticed the owner sitting outside. The taxi stopped, I got out and I shouted “Ingo! Ingo! remember me!” He looked at me and with his eyes wide open said “What the Fuck! Doris Flinn what are you doing here?!” I laughed because he thought my last name was Flinn this whole time! I was pleasantly surprised that he remembered me because this particular character is not easy to please or get on the good side of (so he says). Now this is another incredible story you just got to read… Part 3 continues