Edit Blog Post
Published: March 19th 2011
Carnaval in Ibarra
Parade advertising the upcoming carnical celebrations in Valle de Chota
I've had a busy couple of weeks since my last blog and have managed to see a lot more of the northern highlands as well as a trip to the cloud forest in Intag which is quite possibly the most spectacular scenery I have ever scene...and I thought Scotland was green!!
The weekend of 5/6th March was "carnaval" weekend in Ecuador which basically entails lots of drink, lots of music, lots of dancing and lots of kids running around throwing water and shaving foam at each other (as well as at poor, unsuspecting foreign types!) I took a trip up to the colonial town of Ibarra, a beautiful town nestled in the northern highlands at the foot of the Valle (Valley) de Chota. Ibarra and Valle de Chota are populated, in the main, by the descendants of African slaves who were shipped over in colonial times. So the carnival music, dancing and dress had a distinctively African feel. The atmosphere was fantastic and the people were very welcoming.
And so to Intag! The following weekend I took a trip with two fellow volunteers and a local farmer friend to the Intag valley about 2 hours west
Carnaval in Ibarra
Ibarra carnival parade
of our farm. Intag is in the cloud forest region as the Andes begin to descend towards the coast. The climate is much warmer and humid than in the mountains and this makes for a a completely different crop profile in this region. The reason for our trip was to harvest avocado, pineapple, and lemons to complement the products that we sell from our farm (lettuce, celery, cauliflour, broccoli and such like) at the local market. Saturday was harvest day which was a hard slog - particularly given the that the crops were all growing on the steep inclines of the mountains. By far the highlight of the weekend however, was Friday evening watching the sun setting from our host's veranda overlooking the mountains and valleys of Intag with an ice cold beer in hand. I was pretty content with my lot I have to say! A couple of the locals joined us to set the world to rights over a couple of beers and a few of the local volunteers as well, one of whom, a German girl, had spent 6 years studying in Glasgow and knew Largs very well. So here I was, in quite possibly the most
remote (and beautiful) place I'd been in my life, chatting about Byers Road, the Cumbrae Ferry and Troon Beach with a German lass. A surreal experience!
Tot: 1.148s; Tpl: 0.082s; cc: 13; qc: 50; dbt: 0.0279s; 1; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb