For a taste of the real Ecuador

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South America » Ecuador
February 5th 2012
Published: June 16th 2017
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Geo: -2.93333, -78.7667

Today we saw a most unique mercado--a typical Ecuadorian foods market. Not in the sense of exotic food--that still belongs to Thailand, or maybe India, but for an entirely different reason.

Down one wall was maybe 20 stalls of EXACTLY the same kind of soup, then another row of EXACTLY the same kind of grilled bread, and the same for chicken and rice. They were all of the same offering.

Then in the middle was the raw meat, and off to a different side the fruits and vegetables.

It wasn't like the food mart at a mall where you actually have a choice to make. Here it's soup, soup w/chicken and rice, or chicken and rice.

We took local buses to visit nearby cities of Gualaceo and Chordeleg, total 23 miles from Cuenca.

The bus to Gualaceo was 60 cents. Forward on to Chordeleg was another 25 cents, so including the returns and the taxi to and from the bus station, the whole day cost us about $4 each.

More to love about Ecuador.

In Gualaceo we got such a kick out of walking through hanging chunks of meat, simmering pots of soup, whacked out chickens--and the people watching! We loved it.

Then we jumped on another bus for the 6km trip to Chordeleg where they specialize in gold and silver work. The jewelry was exquisite and if I wore jewelry I'd have come home with a suitcase full.

Instead I just took pictures of the indigenous women in their jewel toned traditional skirts and scarfs. Curious, I checked the prices as these look like people without much money--surely if they can afford these gorgeous skirts so can I.

Boy was I in for a surprise. Those skirts are $60 to $120 each. I don't understand how they can afford them. But anyway, that's why I couldn't stop photographing them. Their color schemes are impressive!

PS I asked our cab driver today about the skirts. He says the really traditional women buy one a year, his grandmother has several. The richly decorated ones they wear for fiestas run $300 each.

I'm impressed with their hold on their culture. I was sure when I first saw them in the shops that I had been given the tourist price--no way could these people afford such luxury, and of course, many of them cannot. But you'll see them out in the fields in them too-- really working, these are not just for wearing to town.

Additional photos below
Photos: 20, Displayed: 20


11th February 2012

Wow! Our kids would be in haven with that wheelbarrow!
11th February 2012

I know! Bob, the strawberry King, says WOW, I've never seen that many strawberries!! He was pretty much drooling all over the cart.
12th February 2012

Well, either that or I like red so that's all I took pictures of!!!! Their hats do look too small, don't they.We love your comments. They kind of help us see it fresh all over again. Keep them coming.
12th February 2012, not very. But we were surprised how clean it all was. You'd just have to come here first thing in the morning, that's all. Just the same, I'm glad we don't have to.

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