Published: June 5th 2010May 25th 2010
Chickens swaping hands
Otavalo's Animal Market
After more than 8 months of travelling with hardly no shopping for souvenirs or just things we liked, we have decided that the Otavalo
famous market and its surrounding villages will be the place were we would break the rule of ¨no shopping¨and we will shop and shop and shop...till we drop...
Therefore, we have arrived to Otavalo on a Friday evening, just in time before the renowned Saturday indigenous market. And on Saturday morning we got up early to make sure we exploit the day to its fullest.
We started the day with visiting the animal market - this was the cultural part of the day, as obviously we had no interest in buying any of the chickens, the guinea pigs or the cows that were on sale there. Yet, it was a wonderful market to see and experience. All the local people and all the Indians from the surrounding villages came in to either sell or buy animals and so the market was very colorful, noisy (... stinky) and very active.
Later, we went to the arts & crafts market. This market exist the whole week in one of Otavalo´s main squares, but on
Saturday, all the streets around this square are becoming also part of the market, and it feels as if the whole city of Otavalo is one big market. The variety is huge, everything from fabrics through textile products (shirts, hammocks, blankets, ponchos and more) all the way to paintings and furniture. It is amazingly colorful both from the products on sale and the vendors cloths. One, could easily get lost in the streets and get dazzled with the variety. As they say One photo is better than sa thousand words, so hundreds of photos we took (mostly Tal) are the only real way to bring you Otavalo´s markets. Therefore I really encourage you, to take the time and click on the links below and get to see ALL the photos.
Tal and the boys were able to bear with the stroll through the market for about 2 hours and then they went back to the hotel room, and Nitzan and I walked further for a few more hours. Tal made another short visit into the market in the afternoon, to make sure he captures good photos of the vendors and the products on sale, as well as
the finishing scenes of the day.
The crop of the day included one painting, ponchos, scarves, trousers for all 3 kids, necklaces, some wood bowls and more.
The day after, to relax from the hard work involved in price negotiations, we went to the nearby town Cotacachi
. This village is famous for the leather products they make. We could not resist the amazing collections we saw in the many leather shops, and I ended up buying my first ever leather jacket...
From the town, we took a short ride to a nearby lagoon - Cuicocha lagoon
which is located inside a crater of a dormant volcano. On the lagoon we took a short boat tour that took us to a point in the lake were we could see bubbles in the water created from the gases and heat that the volcano is still releasing upwords. This is also the reason why the water in the lake have a constant temperature which is much higher than one would expect to find in this height (2500 m above see level).
The day after, Tal was really sick, so only Nitzan and I went back to Cotacachi to
complete shopping of items we saw the day before, but were not sure about purchasing. We came back happy with 2 new leather bags one for Tal and one for me.... So what if we both do not have a job waiting for us back home, at least we now have the perfect bag for our laptops going to work (If... and When..).
We left Otavalo (heavy from the extra weight) to Mindo
- our next destination. 2 months to go....
To see all our photos from Otavalo and the area, please click on the following links: Otavalo´s Animal Market Gallery
Otavalo´s Hand Crafts Market and Cotacachi
There are more photos below