Trip Start Sep 04, 2008
Trip End Jan 27, 2009

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Tamia Taki

Flag of Ecuador  ,
Sunday, September 28, 2008

Our last stop before we go to Peru via Quito. There is a massive market here on saturdays, and a slightly smaller one on wednesdays, of crafts, animals and vegetables. Otavalo and the surrounding villages are known for their weavings (tapestries and clothes).

Getting here turned out to be a right palava - possibly due to the fact that it was a sunday and also that the country was voting on its latest new constitution! We firstly got a tram to the wrong bus station in Quito (there are two at opposite ends of the city), then while trying to get to the right one our taxi driver decided to take us to some unofficial place at the side of a major road where we could pick up the bus from as the traffic was so heavy it would have taken forever to get the right station...

The first bus that was there when we arrived had broken down and was leaving all its passengers by the roadside. The second one was already full, the third took most of the passengers from the first bus and then we managed to get on the fourth (luckily they came along pretty regularly)!  In the meantime a man had been dropped off at the side of the road from a pickup trick with a coffin with him wrapped up in blankets (and we guessed from the way they handled it that it was full!!) and was trying to get a bus to take him as a passenger! He had tried several buses to get several of the bus conductors to help him put the coffin in the bus storage compartment whilst we stood there and hadn´t had any luck so we have no idea how long he had to wait.  I can´t imagine there would be many takers!  People waiting around were all keeping their distance and muttering about ´el muerto´!

We´re in a great little hostal, very friendly and we have a room on the roof with great views over the mountains. It´s very basic but it´s all we need, and the cheapest place we´ve stayed yet at $10 a night for a double room with a bathroom and tv!  Last night it was raining heavily, so that was loud on the tin roof and the school next door generates a lot of noise from 0700, so there´s no lying in! Still as it gets dark by 1830 we´ve been getting tired by about 2100-2200!

We have been out walking around local weaving villages - they are quite rural and quiet except for the click clack of the looms. There were people walking along the sides of the roads with cows and pigs on ropes. We went to the Cascada de Peguche (a small waterfall nearby), on as far as the Lago de San Pedro ( a big lake nearby) which wasn´t as impressive as the guidebook had suggested and then we got a bus home as we were so tired!  We also bought a large colourful throw for the house and a poncho for Foy from the Wednesday market before leaving.
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