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Day 143 - Otavalo, Cotacachi & Laguna Cuicocha

ECUADOR | Wednesday, 29 October 2014 | Views [274]

Managed to be up, ready and on the bus by 6am for the long drive to Otavalo. There was a great group of people on the bus and we all chatted for the four or so hours it took us to get to our first stop.

Once at the markets me and Lisa, a nice Dutch girl from the bus set out to explore what was on offer. I found some really awesome llama wool ponchitos, llama hair llama printed socks (to wear with my thongs) and that was about it. I was actually disappointed with the market - it wasn’t as authentic as I had imagined and had a lot of more mass produced junk than genuine hand-crafted indigenous arts and crafts. That said, it was still definitely worth the journey to check out. 

Searching for the food section we met Alex, a Colombian/Ecuadorian guy who gave us free bracelets and offered to put an extension/dread-lock/braid thing in my hair. He told us where to find the food market so we headed there for a plato tipico desayuno - rice, chicken, egg, beetroot salad and friend potatoes before returning to Alex to get my hair thing. Of course I insisted that it be red and black and the guy worked away for half an hour to create this quite pretty piece of art in my hair :) Lovely guy who seemed insistent I would return to Otavalo and told me that I had excellent energy! 

Post market we checked out the Cotacachi province, stopping by some leather markets in the town where Lisa and I found a vegan organic cafe and had an amazing fresh juice. It was the perfect perk up for the rest of the afternoon. The journey continued on towards Cotacachi volcano where we did a short walk up to Laguna Cuicocha for spectacular panoramic views of the lake and surrounding area. It was here that I ran into Ricardo and we made loose plans to catch up for dinner back in Quito. 

The trip back took a good couple of hours but all in all it was a great day! Once back in Quito Ricardo and I ventured out for dinner to this excellent little Mexican place in La Mariscal for beer and burritos before calling it a night. He was off to Banos early in the morning and I had to be up at 5.30 again for my day trip to Quilotoa. 

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