Published: February 25th 2007February 23rd 2007
Babe- do we have a pig fetish?
A two hour bus ride from Quito to Otavalo does not sound like much of a problem after the numerous and lengthy bus rides in Bolivia. How mistaken I was, with no Kwells (motion sick tablets) for 2 hours on pressurised brakes racing every corner, bus, truck, tricycle, or anything that moved. I felt worse for wear on arrival at Otavalo. However we quickly found a great hostel at US$7 pp/pn overlooking the market. The hostel directed us to a great lunch spot - 3 courses for $2 and quickly I am back on track again. Otavalo is well known for its craft / indigenous market, so we are happy to have a room with a bird´s eye view. By early morning we can hear the clacking of metal as the stores are being erected, the whole town becomes the market with streets being closed off. We head off early to the animal / livestock market. Plenty of pigs being led around like dogs on leashes and I inspected lots of cows but unfortunately Colvin Rocking Horses won´t be purchasing Ecuadorian cow tails to add to their range. (Dad, they just weren´t up to standard)
Indigenous men and women in Otavalo
From the balcony
have real style about them. The men are dressed in white 3/4 trousers with blue ponchos, white cloth shoes and fedora hats partially covering their long plaits. The women wear a long navy wrap skirt, white lacey blouse and their hair in a long plait with a colourful braid. Young and old wear gold or orange beads around their necks and both men and women are constantly smiling. They appear a happier race than their Bolivian neighbours. Town 3 and I am still loving Ecuador.
Sitting on a first floor outdoor bar contemplatively overlooking the closing stages of the Saturday Otavalo market, one of the liveliest in all South America- life aint too drab. While the indiginous culture is relatively covert in Quito, just a couple of rugged hours away in Otavalo it´s alive and kicking. While I hate to describe a race in generic terms, I will anyway. The Otavalenyos are petite, elegant, attractive, proud, passivley entrepeneurial, artistic, amicable and endearing. Roughly the antithesis of the La Paz Aymara. Hang on, did I think that or actually write it. Too late, Print! Publish! Send! This is open house and it´s easy to tread on toes, but bad
Plaza de Poncho
luck, the Aymara can see me in court.
There are more photos below