Buenos Dias. Today we headed to Otavalo by bus and checked into Hotel El Indio. After a short stroll in the local market, we met up with Washington, our local tour guide. He took us around the outskirts of Otavalo by jeep to Cascada De Peguche. We visited the indigenous community that lives around the beautiful falls, explored the ancient tomb sites and the temple of the sun(which is still in use for special ceremonies and festivities).
Afterwards, we had a scenic drive to Laguna de Cuicocha located in the Ecuadorian Andes in Cotacachi. What´s kickass about this fishless lake is that it was created when the snow capped volcanic mountain errupted leaving behind a huge crater to house all the melted snow. We took a motorboat around the lake to observe the active springs and enjoy the sweet scenery. On our drive over to our next destination, we uncovered that Washington is a retired ex drug dealer who now runs a tour company and a drug rehabilitation center. He also seems to be quite the social butterfly since he appears to have a personal relationship with every walking soul in Otavalo.
We reached a small village outside Otavalo to visit an elderly couple in their 80s (Maria & Jose) who are two of the remaining few using a 200 yr old method of spinning wool by hand to create elaborate clothing and artwork. Georgia and I wanted to get in on the action so we took a crack at preparing woolen tubes for spinning. I got to put my tetanus shot to some great use when I managed to scrape my arm on the mangled metal brush while working on my pro-esque wool rolling technique.
I finished off the day with an explosive evening of human fireworks fueled by the salad that accompanied the dry chicken breast at Bien Venidos restaurant. Buenos Noches and good luck to my roommates tonight.