Trip Start Jul 30, 2007
8Trip End Sep 17, 2007
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The local men wear their traditional felt hats, blue jackets and white pants while the women have their shiny black hair pulled back in a ponytail, wrap a gold necklace around their neck and drape a shaw around their shoulders. Some wear the frilly laced white blouses.
A statue in the square is dedicated to the local indigenous hero of the region, a fact two women were proud to point out
There must be some spiritual comfort here in Otavalo being surrounded by three ancient volcanoes, at least, while they are currently in a state of slumber.
My first 2 and a half days were spent in Quito, getting oriented to my new environment which never takes me very long. I am a veteran traveler after all. As cities go, Quito is a very attractive city, situated in an elongated base between the mountains. An aerial tram takes you to the largest peak in the area, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding volcanic peaks, several still snow-capped. Below to the west the misty cloud forest sits quietly enshrouded in clouds.
I easily traversed the new and old town sections by foot. Old town has the numerous colonial era churches, one enormous bastillica, pastel colored buildings and amiable, well-used and enjoyed city parks
Ecuadorians have been very friendly and accomodating. Have already met some interesting travelers, several recently back from volunteer work deep into the Ecuadorian rainforest. I will be going into the Amazon myself beginning next week. Many other young people are here in Ecuador doing volunteer teaching work or environmental work.
Well, today is the big Saturday market and what a sight for the senses. The animal market is my favorite and yes, I could have purchased a little squealing piggy certainly to the relieve of a patient owner. Several of the little piggies, and a few porkers, did find new owners as several were begrudgingly in tow on a leash, one even put in a large burlap bag and carted into a buses luggage compartment! Later, I saw a happy family who had just sold one of their family cows, all eyes beaming at today´s success.
In town, streets overflowed with colorful food and goods. Everybody, tourists and locals alike, seemed to be enjoying the day.
Ciao for now!
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