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Otavalo Market, Ecuador

Written by Raenelle on Thursday, October 23, 2008
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We hit the road early, and found ourselves in the moderately small highland town of Otavalo by about 8am. By the time we arrived, the market was already in full swing with vendors and people everywhere.

TextilesMost of you may already know this about Robin: He does not like shopping; he does not like large crowds of people; and he does not like being hounded by vendors to purchase things. So, it was with some degree of reluctance that he agreed to spend the better part of the day doing that which he dislikes so much!

However, he need not have been concerned, because as it turns out, the Otavalo market dates back to pre-Inca times, and it therefore caters more for locals than for tourists. The market is a place where indigenous folk from the outlying highland villages come every Saturday to purchase and sell their weekly goods.

We spent a few hours wandering the streets looking at the goods. They ranged from fresh fruits & vegetables to handwoven textiles, hats, sweaters, food stands, shoes, electronics, kittens, dvds, meat, rice and all manner of plastic junk! We saw very few other tourists (it is the low season right now), and the majority of the shoppers were locals. We were pleasantly surprised to discover that vendors were extremely non-aggressive in their attempts to sell goods, which made for a very enjoyable experience.

We discovered Loca at the Otavalo plaza … looking lost, hungry and forlorn. She had clearly made the plaza her home … a place where people frequent … and accidentally drop little tidbits of food.

Further Reading on South America 2008:
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Comment by Dad
October 23, 2008 @ 10:38 pm

Great photos…my envy deepens with each batch. You have straddled hemispheres and cultures.

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