About Us

Welcome to our blog, describing our voyage aboard Bravo, a Kelly Peterson 46 sailboat with homeport in Seattle, Washington. We headed south in 2010, destined for Mexico and beyond. Cheers, Adam and Cindi

"As for me, I am tormented by an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts." -Herman Melville, 1844

Monday, July 16, 2012

Ecuador rambles begin.....

A couple of days ago, we buttoned up 'Bravo' as well as we could.  All on deck which could not be locked was secured below, lines to our two mooring anchors were checked and rechecked, and we (more than a bit nervously) left her behind in Bahia while we head out for about one month to explore Ecuador.

Took an 8 hour bus ride to Quito.  Wow, what a change to be in a truly big city!!!  Traffic and crowds are not our day-to-day these days, and it was quite a shock to the system.  But Quito is a vibrant, interesting city, perched high in the Andes.  At 9,350 feet above sea level, it is the highest capitol city in the world.  These sea-level dwelling boat slugs noticed it right away, as we hiked up the 3 flights of stairs to our room at Hostel Sakti.  A nice, clean place to hang our hats, and it's hard to beat the $20/night cost.

With 7 images of Jesus in the cockpit, we felt safe indeed!!!
The next day, after a bit of shopping at the local climbing/trekking shops which are as common as rain drops in Seattle, we hopped another bus to Otavalo, an indigenous small city high in the mountains.  From what we read, the town should provide a great base of operations for several days, starting with the weekly Saturday market the morning after arrival.

This market, the largest in Latin America, actually has 3 parts. 

First, is the animal market, where indigenous people from all of the surrounding villages come to buy and sell critters.  As the saying goes....."they didn't throw this party for us!!!...."

It was an overwhelming scene, and not for those with strong P.E.T.A. sensitivities.  Animals of all sorts were being pushed, pulled, and shoved all around, as they were inspected and sold to their new owners.  We're talking large as well as small, old and young. 

So here are a few shots that tell the story.....

After a bit of walking about it was breakfast time, and the food stalls were smelling pretty good, even if we couldn't identify most of the delicacies.  Cindi settled on a hunk of pork with hominy, potatoes, a fried plantain, and salad.  Tasty business!!!

Adam was looking for a barbequed cuy (guinea pig), but apparently those just aren't suitable breakfast fare!!!

Cuy ladies looking for the big score!
But we did see lots of cuy changing hands, and soon the "cuy ladies" lining the path became a common sight.

Ahhhhh....here's a tasty one!!!
There were deals galore for the shrewd negotiator!!

Cindi was befriended by a woman selling finely woven scarves for $3.50 each.  The negotiations were fun for both sides, and we're the proud owners of four of the beauties.

Otavalo "drive-in movie"....the screen was small, but the interest was intent
After the animal market we headed up to the weekly street market, where vendors set up street stalls throughout the city.  Anything imagined could be found, and we spent hours wandering the streets.

"Snake oil" seller shows the magic of his elixer for eye health.....

After wandering the streets for a few hours, we moved to the permanent market, set up in "Poncho Square".  Here we found all sorts of weavings, grains and spices, leather work, and more.  Truly a hard to believe rabbit warren of smells, colors and people, it went on and on and on.  And yes, we bought a few things, after we found the post office will ship back to 'Bravo' in Bahia, to be waiting at the marina when we return in a month.

All in all, a great welcome to the wonders of Ecuador that await!!!

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