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Ecuador Market Days

Market Day brings everyone out.

Otavalo in Ecuador is home to one of the largest markets in South America . It has to be said it is one of the most enjoyable alfresco retail experiences we have had here.Up for grabs are handicrafts of every description – ceramics, jewellery,paintings, musical instruments, carvings and a dazzling  array of weavings and textiles. Otavalenos are known for their exquisite weaving and textile skills, and are the most commercially successful indigena people in Ecuador.
Many looms work across the country-side producing  chunky sweaters, hats, gloves, trousers, tablecloths,hammocks,  indigenous ponchos, blouses, belts and tapestries all of which can be snapped up on Saturday’s  (the main market day).    The whole town swells into a sea of bright colours and atmosphere as people hunt for the best bargain,
and oh yes these people love to bargain with you.

Some of the ladies were 100% matching

Some of the ladies were 100% matching

The indigena people wear traditional clothing.   Women wear white blouses all embroidered with flowers, long wool skirts, woven belts, canvas sandals and strands of beads.  Men wear felt hats, blue ponchos, calf-length pants and braid their hair into one long strand.
Both the women and the men look fantastic.

There is also a pet market, oh yes.  This is certainly worth a visit for its atmosphere and  general chaos.  Here you can buy cows, goats, sheep, screaming piglets, dogs, guinea pigs, hens and chickens – day old’s that they sell you in paper bags !  It was fascinating to watch people bargain with each other over the cost of each animal.  Once the deal was done it was off to the local food stall to order some chicken or tripe soup which was boiling on portable stove tops, crispy fried fish, or suckling pigs ears. To  wash it down chicha – (fermented corn or yuca drink)  from plastic buckets.  What a brilliant day out,
definitely not to be missed in Ecuador.

Ecuador Market Day

Otavalo market, Ecuador

Otavalo market, Ecuador

Otavalo market, Ecuador

Otavalo market, Ecuador

Otavalo market, Ecuador

This guy is thrilled as he just made a dollar for working as a model for 60 seconds.

This guy is thrilled as he just made a dollar for working as a model for 60 seconds.

The local ladies are dressed incredibly well

The local ladies are dressed incredibly well

DIY dentistry is a big thing here.

DIY dentistry is a big thing here.

Sarah inspecting the blankets.

Sarah inspecting the blankets.

Some of the poorer souls were eating whatever they could.

Some of the poorer souls were eating whatever they could.

Just about anything could be found for sale.

Just about anything could be found for sale.

Really no idea why this girl was tied up.

Really no idea why this girl was tied up.

While we visited the North of Ecuador, we stayed with Graham. Graham is an Australian dude who now lives near the town of Ibarra and runs his gardening business. He loves for overlanders to come and visit and stay a few days, and he certainly made us feel very welcome there. It was not easy to fire up the Mog and hit the road after a week of Grahams hospitality, but we did manage to uproot ourselves and get to Colombia.

Graham with the boss of the house, Lea.

Graham with the boss of the house, Lea.