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Entries about history

Otavalo and a little bit more


View Ecuador & Galapagos ... me gusta mucho! - 2015 on Ils1976's travel map.

Surprisingly enough I slept quite alright and although I woke up a few times around 3 and 5 AM, when our alarm clock finally went off at 6.30  AM, I was quite awake and ready to start the day!

After we've got a more than delicious breakfast with all the necessary nutrients, it was time to pack all of our stuff and visit the beautiful town of Otavalo of which its centre was only a 15 minutes bus ride away. The town itself isn’t the biggest one of the country, but it is well known for its crafts and textiles markets, so what can I say, we had to visit them!

Together with our tour leader Freddy, our entire group was dropped of at the central park of the town, from where we had a nice view on the San Luis Church as well as the monument of Ruminahui, the resistance hero of the Indian people. Since we did came here to do some market shopping, we skipped the architecture and monument sights all together and walked straight to the food market, where we arrived just a few minutes later.

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Although we arrived pretty early, I must say that I was a bit surprised to see so little people at the market, but on the other hand, it was a wednesday, maybe people weren’t in the mood to do some food shopping in the middle of the week, whatever the case, it didn’t stop Tania and me from walking through one row after another and discover all the known and unknown veggies and meats which were for sale.

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I have to admit that some of it looked very yummy, other things I don’t even have a clue of what they were and some of it didn’t look all that appealing as well, but that didn’t stop the both of us of trying some fried bugs which surprisingly enough didn’t taste all that bad, maybe there is a future for the bug burger!

It must have been more than half an hour later when we met up with the rest of our group and together we walked towards “plaza de los ponchos” where you can still find loads of textiles and other stuff that tourists like so much. Since we were given some free time, the two of us decided to walk around and have a closer look at the goodies which were on sale. While I was looking for a cap for one of my drivers back home, Tania decided to do some poncho shopping as well and actually scored a very nice one. 

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After all that walking around, we both got a bit tired and decided to end a perfect morning with a nice cup of coca tea, how I missed this so much!

Time flies when you are having fun and as soon as we were all together again as one group, we slowly walked towards our tourbus, ready for the next stop on our agenda today, which was going to be a visit to a family who till this day still makes those typical heads they wear in the Otavalo region. It was the first time ever I have seen someone “produce” a hat and they earn my utmost respect, it is hard work to make it, that’s for sure.

From the hat making family, we went on the bus again and drove through Otavalo countryside till we reached Cotacachi, an artisan town famous for its leather goods and I must admit, they sure know their prices. There is just no way that locals can afford these goods and I guess the whole town relies on tourists, but still, luckily they not only have shops with leather inside, a few blocks away from the main street there is a small park with a picturesque church as well, but since we didn’t had too much free time, we just had a quick look around town before we were on our merry way again towards our next stop.

Peguche is a small indian town situated a few minutes north of Otavalo. The locals here are very much known not only for their weaving and handicrafts, but for being very good musicians as well. It goes without saying that our group was going to visit such a family, this being an organized tour and all, but not before we were invited to have lunch in a local eatery which is specialized in serving guinea pig or “cuy” like they call it here in the country.

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I must admit that I was looking forward to eating this speciality, but instead we only got a taste of it and maybe it was for the better coz the piece I got wasn’t all that yummy. Maybe the “cuy” was roasted too much, I don’t particularly know, but it wasn’t exactly my cup of tea so to speak, I’d rather had eaten a few more bugs, they tasted better than the guinea pig!

Besides food, the restaurant had provided a local band as well. Of course, this all sounds like “tourist trap” from miles away, but still, it was fun and I just didn’t mind one bit, I was on holiday and enjoyed every minute of it. 

Just next to the restaurant, we had one last family visit of who certain members of the family were not only musicians, but great artists in making flutes, panpipes, guitars and other things which bring forth music as well. In less than 5 minutes one guy “produced” a small pan flute and even made music on it, quite impressive and so much easier than making a hat, if I was living here, I certainly know which profession I would choose!

Sadly enough, after enjoying a bit of music for the very last time today, we had to go and as we said our goodbyes to the Otavalo region, we drove off on the Pan American highway again in the direction of Quito, where we arrived a few hours later, ready to check in to our hotel for the next 2 upcoming nights.

While the sun was already setting, the both of us decided to discover the neighborhood of our hotel on our own rather than joining the group and our tourleader for dinner and thanks to the good advice of the Lonely Planet, we found a nice Mexican joint, not all that far from our hotel which served a very yummy burrito.

Since it was still a bit early to go to sleep, we walked through several streets only to find out that we were surrounded by loads of restaurants, bars and disco’s, so this meant that sleeping was going to be quite a challenge, which we actually found out a couple of hours later when we were back in our room.

After a quick shower, I turned to my laptop to let the homefront know that I had "survived" the flight and was still alive and kicking and by the time it was 11 PM, I turned of my light while Tania was still reading her mails and for some reason I went to sleep straight away coz I never saw her turning of her light.

Posted by Ils1976 07:59 Archived in Ecuador Tagged churches people food monument history bus market town walk friends fun music tour colors south_america colonial crafts local_delicacies Comments (0)

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