My friend leaves tomorrow after our two weeks of post-Galapagos exploration. She has to deal with that ugly 4 letter word: work. I, of course, sad as I am to see her go, am very happy that I remain.
Our tour delivered us to Quito, where we completed our to-do list by visiting a gold-laden church we had only seen from the outside. It did not disappoint. Here’s a sample of La Compania de Jesus:
We set off on the route described in Lonely Planet (LP) as Andean Mountain High. Yes, Quito earns a place on this route by sitting at 9200 ft ((2800 meters). Our first new stop was at Otavalo, renowned for its humungous Saturday market. Their more modest Wednesday market was quite enough for me. There was nary a Gringo in sight, confirming that we were there in low season. However, the vendors are NOT aggressive, such a welcome change from past travels on other continents.
We went on a tour of nearby indiginous villages and workshops.
This woman had her yougest child at age 48. Unfortunately, my limited vocabulary did not allow a discussion of fertility, menopause, and birth control.
This woman is one year older than I am. Amazing what I haven’t learned about weaving in my lifetime. She’s brushing out the wool that will eventually show up as a sweater or hat or … at the Otavalo market. Part of the tour also took us to beautiful scenery. Here’s Laguna Grande, created by what else: a volcano.
As far as markets go, we had our sights set on “the most important indigenous village market in (Ecuador)”: Saquisili’s Thursday market.This small puebla (population around 5000) is onthe Quilotoa Loop, which loops around, what else, the Andes. We organized our travel to be there on a Thursday, and we made it! It did not disappoint. There are eight different locations for the market, and we knew we wanted to see the animal market first.
You folks raised on farms will think it’s ridicuous to waste my time on farm animals, but remember, I was born and bred in Brooklyn. And these animals are brought here for serious commerce. So here are a few shots of the cuties:
Well, I’m in Banos now and am moving on tomorrow. Still much to tell you about the Andean High, but it’s dinner time and I’m afraid if I pause my blog-work, it (the blog, not dinner) will disappear (it has done this many times before). So, I will post this now, and resume late.
Bear with me. Talk to you later.