Day 60: Losing Ourselves On Otavalo’s Market Day

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Got up early for our border crossing into Ecuador which turned out to be one of the quickest and simplest crossings we have made. No issues, no questions, best of all – no lineups.

After a 3 hour journey through beautiful mountainous landscapes clouded in white haze (at times it felt like we were cruising through a land in the skies), we were dropped off just outside Otavalo and told to wait for the local bus to take us into town.

Buses were plentiful and within 5 minutes we were on the local ride. Getting on this bus reminded me of the chicken bus to Guatemala City – another pleasant surprise when we boarded. It felt like stepping into an out-of-this-century lost world! Mostly indigenous passengers in traditional dress: men with long dark hair worn in pigtails and topped with dark felt hats, women in white embroidered blouses adorned with gold necklaces… Here we were, intruding on their bus in our T’s and backpacks. Oh yeah, we stuck out like sore thumbs.

They were all heading into town for the same reason we were – official market day held every Saturday. We were lucky to time our arrival here perfectly. The market was huge, not only swallowing up the entire town square – stalls spilled into adjacent streets like water being channeled into canals, hawking traditional handicrafts from blankets to bags to ponchos to hammocks (the latter of which we couldn’t resist and bought 2 of!).

Although not the greatest of crafts shopping, getting lost amidst the array of stalls and watching the indigenous get on with their local traditions (including how they haul the goods on their backs at the end of market day) was an experience not to be missed!

just when I thought my backpack was heavy…

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One Comment

  1. ace says:

    sounds wonderful and romantic all at once!

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