Today I had a wonderful time visiting a wonderful jewel in Ecuador’s crown. It was a trip with a wonderful group of people to the zoo in Tarqui. All the animals there have been rescued and given a new lease on life. They have been injured and nursed back to health. I was amazed at not only the quality of life they have there but that you can get up close and personal with a number of the animals.
The trip up to Tarqui was spectacular with its ever-changing vistas! To look down into the valley and see farms, old Ecuadorian homes and the ever changing landscape was a feast for the eyes and the soul. The gentleman who owns the zoo also does Falcon rescue. Those who are too injured to be returned to the wild, live out their days in peace and become ambassador’s in the education of people on the importance of protecting its wildlife.
An unusual aspect of the trip, and one of its marvelous highlights, was to find out that the ostriches give massages! Yes, I said they give massages. It was something one had to experience first hand and I have to admit, I was the first to volunteer. It was unbelievable, although they were a little heavy “beaked” when it came to giving the massage.
Another wonderful experience, was being able to hold a Golden Eagle that had been injured and was being restored to health. To look into those huge eyes that showed no fear just touched me to my very soul. Those eyes spoke to my Cherokee heart in a way that I cannot explain. It was a very moving experience for me and one I will not forget any time soon.
At the zoo there were monkeys, parrots, toucans, a fox, peacocks, a water buffalo and Humboldt Penguins! Now to see Penguins in South America is something I would not have thought I would see. But these penguins are native to the Galapagos Islands. There were other animals there was well and it was very heart warming to know they are being cared for and given a second chance at life.
After the zoo, we went to a lovely restaurant for lunch where we were treated to Ecuadorian style lasagna, salad, yummy chocolate cafe with some kind of liquor, garlic bread, a delicious juice and a decadent desert that was a combination custard, fruit and granola. After a delightful repast, it was time to head back to Cuenca and home.
It was a truly delightful day spent with new friends and we are looking forward to the next adventure. It could be anything from zip-lining by some waterfalls to visiting a tribe near the Amazon. Whatever is planned, you can bet that it will be interesting and fun. Oh, and what was the cost for the day? Only $16.00. In Florida we could not have found anything at that low a price. I mean, to go to Disney or Sea World would set you back $120 or more and that is only for admission, does not include parking or eating!
Until next time my friends, remember to thank God for the wonders he has given us.
Terri at the Drake’s Nest