This weekend, I went to a city called Otavalo with my friend Tina.
It is a small friendly town north of Quito known for its huge artisan market. Here, the indigenous people are pretty wealthy. They even have an indigenous mayor in a country where the indigenous people are not respected very much.
Each week, you can go to the Crafts Market, the Food Market, or the Animal Market ( I missed this opportunity, but don't you think I've touched enough animals lately!)
Let me tell you about my trip...first of all-Holiday. Tip #1- DO NOT travel on Holidays (day before...maybe). We waited in line for 3...yes 3 hours. Tres Horas. Standing....in line...on my feet...with people bumping into me from every which way....fighting so you won't get skipped. Yep. Three hours. In case you don't know for sure...I could have watched the movie "Titanic"!
Well, then I made a friend, which I usually do...and ended up getting a little closer in line. Some of you may call this skipping. But....again I say....3 hours!
But we learned a little lesson. There are men who usually call to tell you a bus is here, and we needed a particular bus to go straight to the city. We were in line for another and would have to get off on the highway and walk to the city. So.....they said Sube, Sube, Sube (Come Up Come Up Come up). So we ran, and ran through the bus terminal to catch the bus. I ran and ran. I was so out of breath. You are running with at least 20 other people who want to catch the bus.
Well...it wasn't a bus...it was a truck. They had a truck and they were trying to get people to ride in the back, 2 1/2 hours to Otavalo. Well, I am sure many people would have taken it, but the police came and no one could go. There was NO WAY, I was going to take the truck anyway. We had to go back into the terminal and had to find another place in line. We ended up sliding in line instead of going to the back! Wow...what an adventure, and we hadn't left yet.
Well, going to Otavalo was an adventure. The market was so nice. All around hundreds of blankets, toys, jewelry, bags, food, clothes, it was truly amazing. The people are so nice. Of course they want a sell, but they tell you everything is beautiful on you. I of course believed them (smile).
Then we decided to check out Laguna de San Pablo. We "accidentally" got on the wrong bus. We were the last to get off and then had to walk 1km, which seemed like 3km to get to the lake. I did run into a pig on the way there. Let's just call him Dirty Wilbur-Filthy Pig. It was pretty nice. They even had boats and jet skis for those with an extra 50 bucks to spare. It was nice. We ate at a nice restaurant by the beach. It was good, but oh boy was it hot.
It was a nice adventure. Beware, you can spend over $100 dollars here. They are nice, but I gotta remember, there's no Jeep to take these things home. I had to carry them on the bus. Can we say NOT COMFORTABLE!
It was definitely a trip to remember. I definitely laughed when it was over. I saw some pretty amazing things and met some really nice people. There is so much to do here and I just might head back, just not on a holiday!