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Published: August 5th 2008
Whole cooked pig in Otavalo
You can literally choose which bits you want and it's cut off for you at the side of the street!
Well a trip to Ecuador wouldn't be complete without a trip to Otavalo to load up on all the touristy goodies that you can possible fit in your rucksack. Which is exactly where we were headed from the beach. Despite a six hour trip to Quito from Atacames and then three more hours to Otavalo (I'm sure it doesn't usually take that long but we seemed to stop every five seconds to let someone on or off) we arrived in good time to find a hostel and get money out of the bank in preparation for the next days shopping spree.
We were up bright and early to beat the crowds at seven the next morning but the markets sellers had decided to have a lie-in and were still setting up so we went for breakfast before beginning the serious business of shopping. It's always a good thing to be early as everyone seems desperate to make their first sale of the day so all the bargains are to be had early on. Once it hit half ten the day trippers had arrived and prices doubled (quite amusing when you go back to the exact same stall where you asked
the price of something earlier to find the price has been inflated by at least ten dollars in the past two hours!) One thing the women managing the stalls have to learn though is that repeating 'compra, amiga' over and over again in the whiniest voice imaginable is not likely to secure them many sales!
We managed to get our fair share of bargain prices before this happened including from one stall where a ten year old kid had been left in charge and ended up selling me something for $5 that everywhere else seemed to be at least $15. Felt quite bad about it but he seemed so convinced this was the right price even after I asked if he was serious! Also stopped at an amazing stall of a couple of local artists. Have to say I was very tempting despite the logistics of getting something that large home but the prices soon put me off! I ended up getting just one of the smallest ones as a momento.
Decided to try and set off for Quito before everyone else and managed to get a bus within two minutes of getting tothe station heading for Quito
for the evening.
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