Otavalo

Otavalo is a town in Ecuador known for it's world famous indigenous market every Saturday. When I was looking up information on Ecuador this market was highly recommend as something worth checking out. I figured since the town was on my way to Quito the capital from my border crossing in Colombia, I might as well stop by for a few days and see what else the town has to offer in addition to the famous Saturday market.

I arrived in Otavalo on Thursday afternoon and since I was tired from the long bus trip I had just taken, I wanted to chill and take it easy. I was not in a hurry to explore much but I did take some time to walk around and get my bearings.

The last couple of days in this new town have been full of sleep, TV watching and long walks in the surrounding areas. The streets were not very busy during the week and the weather was rainy on and off but I enjoyed my walks along these streets.




Today being Saturday I finally got to check out the famous market and spent the whole day walking around and taking time to enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of the town. During the week it was more quiet but today there were more people especially on the main street leading to the market. In addition to the local residents of Otavalo, I saw so many tourists who I assume had stopped by the town specifically for the market. The town is about 2 hours away from Quito so I am sure a lot of people find it easy to make a day trip to Otavalo. 

The market was very colorful and it was bigger than I had expected. It extended to several streets and every corner yielded something new to see, there were: clothes, shoes, jewelry, food and a lot of other stuff. I managed to buy a few things and I am glad I did not go over board, it would have been very easy to spend a lot more just because there were very many beautiful items on sale.

Check out my goodies.........leather bag,  leather wallet, shirt/dress and ring (Ya'll know I am a ring collector so here is another addition to my collection). PS: there was an abundance of real leather products and the prices were very pocket friendly!


Trying on my shirt/dress while conversing with other customers and the shop owner.


Yeah the joke must have been funny..........I can't remember it though!


Here are some pictures I took at the market, I just love the vibrant colors.







In addition to enjoying the marvelous market, I also got to enjoy some good music courtesy of a free concert at one of the plazas. Unfortunately the weather got overcast and it started raining so I had to make a quick getaway.




That's it folks, tomorrow I leave for Quito where I will be staying for a while depending on how things go. I will be taking Spanish classes everyday, site seeing, dancing salsa and absorbing the local culture. New beginnings and new adventures await.

Random Thoughts of The Day:

My first days in Otavalo were a bit gloomy and I was feeling out of it, I was experiencing new city blues and the weather wasn't helping much because it was overcast most of the time and rainy. Today however I had such a good day and totally warmed up to this town, I also started looking forward to my new adventure in Quito.

There are many indigenous people in this town. I like their traditional dressing and the native language spoken, I don't know how to describe it and I don't know what language it is but it sounds really nice.

At the market today when I was buying my ring, I started having a conversation with the seller and he told me a little bit about his family and his life. I felt very proud of my Spanish because I understood everything he said and he complimented my Spanish. Moments like those make me so proud of how far my Spanish language skills have come.

Good thing there is hot shower at my hostel because the weather is cold over here and the rooms don't seem to have heating. My bed for instance has 4 blankets just to indicate how cold it is. The cold water from the tap is so cold that even washing my hands feels like torture. I am not exaggerating by the way! in Cali I only slept covered with a sheet and even that was too warm at times.

I have mentioned before that prices here are really cheap and I am still trying to get used to it. I am not complaining at all!

If there is one thing I can say for sure about learning Spanish is that I am very glad that I know my numbers in Spanish because otherwise I would have been very easily ripped off when it comes to buying stuff. I remember last year when I visited Colombia I could only count to 10 so buying stuff I had to ask someone to write down the actual number for me in order to understand what price they were quoting. Now I am such a pro and when someone quotes a price to me I get it immediately and can even bargain to get it lowered if necessary. It's the small things I tell yah!



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