Ecuador – Otavalo: market or no market

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Laguna Cuicocha

It’s been a really long time since i updated a blog. and there really is no good reason why i haven’t done it, but i’ll try to make it up anyway. Even if it serves as a way to justify it to myself. Since leaving Colombia on November 4th and entering Ecuador on Nov 5th, i’ve been moving south quite fast. Faster than i moved around Colombia. I’ve created this urgency myself, by agreeing to meet my mother in Lima on the 19th of November and my buddy Robert in La Paz on Dec 13th, both of which created some constraints on my schedule. Both Ecuador and Northern Peru have a ton to offer and to zip all of it in less than 3 weeks is a crazy man’s task. But since i am one, i decided it is possible. Cost? Well I had to completely skip Huaraz and Cordillera Blanca (which im very bummed about). I promise to make it back there one day. 

Leaving Colombia, aside the stamp in the passport and physical border crossing, somehow felt like it started a different chapter in the trip. I started it very quietly and tranquilo – spending 5 days in Otavalo, Ecuador. Actually I have heard of it previously as the largest saturday market in South America, but since im not a very big shopper, i was thinking of skipping it completely, but crossing the border into ecuador at night, I had to find a place to crash so i figured “why not” and opted to spend a day in Otavalo. Other than the usual Saturday market madness, the town is in fact quite mellow and has plenty of great outdoor activities to offer. Mountain biking, some great volcanoes for mountaineering and amazing hiking in Laguna Cuicocha and Laguna Mojada. I took advantage of some of these and lost track of time. By Friday I told myself that i saw Otavalo in it’s natural rhythm and there’s no need to endure the craziness of the Saturday market, so I left that same day. The town by Friday afternoon was filling up with tourists coming for the famous Saturday market. 

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Met this man on the way to Peguche Waterfalls. He was herding his cows and agreed to a picture. 

Next I moved on to Quito. 

(written on December 26, but backdated to the day i left Otavalo)

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