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Dalama Adventures Tale of two corporate types ditching their jobs and traveling the world for 14 months... check out all photos, blogs & interesting tid bits at http://www.dalama.net

Happy Halloween in Ecuador

ECUADOR | Wednesday, 31 October 2007 | Views [4024]

We learned from the hotel manager today that the President of Ecuador doesn't want people celebrating Halloween, so while there used to be big festivities in the city, they've now been banned.  The "New Town" part of the city has been famous for parades of costumes down the main street - Avenedia Rio Amazonas, but that area of town is apparently super dangerous at night.  So we decide to head down to New Town (Mariscal) during the day to check out the scene and local artisan markets.  New Town and Old Town Quito are like night and day.  New Town is grungy and dirty, and is full of bars, restaurants, hostels and travel agencies.  The buildings look more like architecture from the 70's or 80's, and could have been any small town street in the US.  The markets are a good taste of what's to come for us, as we begin to explore market day in other Ecuadorian towns.  Loads of wool ponchos, blankets, scarves, hats, gloves, sweaters line the little stalls perfect for the cool days and cold nights.  I'm eyeing the knitted wool slippers, as last night, even with wool long johns and socks on, I froze.  There's a ton of musical instruments; flutes, drums, guitars, maracas, along with musical DC's of the typical "Andean" music we sometimes see performed in the streets of La Jolla and San Diego.  Music fills the air here, if it's not the Andean Music, it's reggaeton blaring from bars, and cars, and salsa beats from just about every little shop.  Much of the food here is fried... fried chicken, pork platanos, dough, empanadas, and rice.  They're also big on the rotisserie chickens here; a quarter chicken with rice, along with papas fritas goes for just under $2.  They also use the US dollar as the official currency here, which many people have an issue with... locals feel that having the US dollar as their currency has caused prices to inflate, and things to become unaffordable and out of reach for them.  

We spend our day checking out the limited streets of the Mariscal area, and determine we'd prefer to spend our evening back in the Old Town for a traditional dinner.  We duck into a tiny hole in the wall mom and pop restaurant and order up the local chicken fare, it comes with delicious homemade soup, popcorn, fried bananas and salad, and a really huge chunk of chicken, rice and french fries - all for less than $2.  I order the local "chicha" drink - a delicious yellow/brown juice type beverage made from 7 different types of corn, served cold.  They also let me sample the special chicha delight, colada morada, a special mixture that's a purple color, served hot.  It's specially made at this time of the year for Dia de los Difuntos (Day of the Dead).  It's made in big cauldrons, boiled up with chunks of pineapple.  They make a ton of it and store it in big plastic bins.  The restaurant owner gave us a mug to sample of the fresh batch she'd made up in preparation for the big family festival in the cemetery on Friday.  It's delicious!  She assures me its made with agua purificada, so I hope she's right, checking out the big plastic industrialized garbage pail where it's stored in the back of their restaurant. 

Tags: Sightseeing

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