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The market in Otavalo, Ecuador was by far the most impressive we’ve seen since Guatemala.  On market day when the market swells with vendors from surrounding towns the produce market alone would challenge in size any that we have seen in South America so far and that was just a third of what they had to offer.  In addition to produce there was a handicraft market and an animal market where you could buy everything from pets to livestock.  Markets are fun.  They are a playground for every single one of the senses.  For this reason I have chosen to include most of the pictures we took that day to try to convey some of that experience.  Enjoy!

Our first camping spot in Ecuador.  We had a beautiful view of the landscape.  A celebratory beer was in order.
Spring cleaning.  Everything out to scrub from the bottom up.
Not a bad spot for working afternoon.
Our first stop on market day was the animal market.  Quite literally a zoo.
People from all over the surrounding area would bring in the animals they wanted to sell.
Our first spot was where pets were being sold.   These kittens were a steal at only $2 a piece.
Your standard cats and dogs.
This guys had only a few puppies, but they were gorgeous.  A husky and a golden.  He knew what he had as they were going for $110 each.
We had a hard time thinking of animals that weren't represented at the market.
Guinea pigs, the grey line between pet and farm animal.  In Ecuador they've been raised for food since pre-incan days.  $5.50 each.
Huge swings in prices between babies and full grown adults.
$1.25-$2 will get you a baby duck or chicken.
One guy had dyed each and every one of his chicks.  They stood out alright.
Competition was steep for small poultry.
This woman had the best deal around.
It was a bit unnerving to witness all these live animals being handled very much inanimate objects.
A whole eight dollars for a full grown rooster.  This guy knew it.
Everyone dressed up for their day at the market.
Like animals would congregate together.  They kept the pigs to the side as they seemed to be the messiest.
Baaaaabe.  $40 will get you a baby.
$160 for a full grown pig.  This guy was threw a fit as they were getting him in the truck.
Onto the bigger guys.  A sheep could run anywhere between $40 to $190 depending on size and age.
Llamas seemd to be consistantly around $85.
We couldn't resist making a few calculations and figuring it wouldn't take much to start a good sized farm in Ecuador.
Trying to politely ask her about the cow she was trying to sell.
There was a lot to the prices of cows as we noticed they swung pretty widely.
This guy was going for over $350.  The most expensive one we found.
And not too far away were a bunch of food stalls selling the same cows cut up into little pieces.
They were all selling the same stew.
It seems to be just all the inside parts to a cow.  I saw stomache, lower intestines, brains, liver, kidney, and yes cow penis.   Usually I like to try anything but I couldn't do it.
This guy was selling the equivalent to an old timey elixir.  He seemed to have a silver tongue and drew a good sized crowd.
Some of the women perusing the fields.
A woman on the sidelines content with her purchase.
We made our way along with throngs of people from the animal market to the produce market.
The walk in between the two markets was lined with vendors selling everything from DVD's to sponges.
It was hard to walk for more than a couple of seconds before being distracted by something delicious
The produce was displayed beautifully
Vendors usually specialize in either fruit or vegetables, rarely both
It is customary for the men and boys of Otavalo to wear their hair in braid
Look at the size of those strawberries.
A much wider variety of food stuffs here than most markets.
A little escargo for breakfast.
We saw people snacking these on the street the day before.
Crunchy little bugs that have been fried
I couldn't resist.  I had to make up for avoiding the penis soup.
The grain stall.  Again a much wider variety than we've seen in a while.  Quinoa has come into fashion.
Candy and animal crackers by the pound.  A kid's dream
Spice stall.  This is where a translator would come in most handy.  Spice names change constantly country to country and there's always new regional stuff.
In the center of every market are stalls selling prepared food.  Roasted whole pigs are a big thing in Ecuador.  You see them everywhere.
We walked through the main square to get to the handicraft market.
A little reminder Christmas time is right around the corner.
Some of hte happiest looking food I've ever seen.
Ropa tipica for most women.
The women also wear thick red or gold beads on their necks and wrists
Jill noticed that there seemed to be a correlation between the size of the beads and the age of the women.  The older the women the bigger the beads.
Cute little hats.  Everything at the market was made by hand, whether it was actually made by hand or not.  I think the vendors have a good idea of what tourists are looking for.
There was a much higher percentage of tourists at the handicraft market than the produce or animal markets.
The artwork shown is popular in the region.  It originated around the Laguna Quilotoa area.
All the colors under the sun.
Half the fun of the market is the people watching.
Another shot of the typical long braid worn by men
Tons of families out picking up supplies for the week.
It's amazing the heavy lifting that's done by some of the older women.
They've got their method for carrying down though.
Not quite Baby Bjorn but gets the job done.
After leaving Otovalo we drove a bit out of the way to