Saturday, February 2, 2008

Off To The Markets in Otavalo........

As Nancy and I were having coffee while waiting for our driver, I took this pic from our hotel window. Lots of construction of the high-rise type. The house across the street seems to be a lonely hold-out. Its a rainy day for our trip, but our spirits are high. After about an hour on the PanAmericanHwy north of Quito, you start seeing better land for growing crops. It was interesting how every path of ground-along the road side, between buildings, etc, was in use to grow corn or some other staple.

As we came closer to Otavalo, the population mix changed to its more indigenous members.
At a rest area, I came out of the store and couldn't find Nancy. Finally, out behind one of the buildings, there was Nancy talking to a mother and child in front of an indigenous person's hut. The alpacas were eating corn husks.

We dropped down into the valley basin in which Otavalo is located near a large lake. The town is overlooked by an extinct volcano.
The outskirts of Otavalo seemed poorer than downtown, yet certain areas were interesting and colorful.
As we approached the center of Otavalo, the streets and buildings seemed to be kept in good condition with great pride.

The center of Otavalo has the traditional city plan of a center park, with a church on one side, a government building on one, and commercial representatives on the others. The center of most parks have statues of local heros.

It was about noon when we left our guide at the square and set out to have a look at the market. Lots of folks were presenting food on the street. Some looked good to me. But of course, my brain is in my stomach at that time of day.
Cooler heads prevailed regarding street food and we continued to take in the rich and colorful offerings of the stall keepers.

Nancy and I made some purchases from these vendors and their friend took a shopper's portrait.
It started to rain. We were a few blocks of the main square and ducked into a large building for cover. We discovered it was an entrance to one of the largest and most diverse open food markets we have ever seen. The offerings of vegetables, legumes, meat, grains, breads and flowers were incredible.
More pics of this market later. We are going to post now as computer says no more pics on this one.

No comments:

Post a Comment