Otavalo & Quito
Monday 4th June
While back in the Uk everyone is going Jubilee mad we flew from Bogata to Quito arriving at Travellers Inn just in time to eat and go to bed.
Tuesday 5th June
Up for breakfast and then bus to Otavalo, which takes 2 hours. Check in at Hostal Chasqui.
Otavalo is the capital of Otavalo Canton, it is a largely indigenous town in the Imbabura Province of Ecuador. The town has about 90,000 inhabitants and is surrounded by the peaks of Imbabura 4,630m, Cotacachi 4,995m, and Mojanda volcanoes.
Otavaleña women traditionally wear distinctive white embroidered blouses, with flared lace sleeves, and black or dark over skirts, with cream or white under skirts. Long hair is tied back with a 3cm band of woven multi coloured material, often matching the band which is wound several times round their waists. They usually have many strings of gold beads around their necks, and matching tightly wound long strings of coral beads around each wrist. Men wear white trousers, and dark blue ponchos. The men also wear there hair long and in a ponytail, this is a tradition so mush rspected that when they join the army/police they are allowed to keep it long.
We walk round the town and get our bearings, there is some beautiful scenery and the weather is mild and sunny. The Hostalhas a kitchen so we choose to shop at the market and cook for ourselves whih makes a nice change.
Wednesday 6th June
Today we walk in the hills behind the hostal, there is a road which leads to some waterfalls but we don't get that far. Weather again is mild and sunny. We walk round the town and check out the famous local craft market. The stalls sell traditional clothes, jumpers, blamkets, scarfes and hats made from Alpaca wool - very warm and very reasonable prices.
We have lunch from a street vendor, nice fresh fish and salad for $2.
Thursday 7th June
Today we decide to get a bus and then a taxi to the lake in the crater of Volcan Cotacachi. We hiked for 3 hours and reached 10,374 ft above sea level. The views where amazing and breathtaking literally.
We had a late lunch at a restaurant overlooking the lake and then caught the bus back to Otavalo.
Slept well that night.
Friday 8th June
This morning we had a lazy start and then caught the bus back to Quito. We checked into Travellers Inn for a second night before flying out to the Galapagos Islands in the morning.