A Travellerspoint blog

Otovalo, Ecuador

Day 2 in Otovalo, Ecuador

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Last night, I looked out the back balcony of our hostel and the old church was lit up with all sorts of colors...I will try to upload a picture. Today was really cool. I made arrangements with the hostel desk to take a tour up to a waterfall and a mountain lake. We headed out at 10:30 am and were gone until 2:30! We drove up to a lake called Laguna de Mojanda. It was at about 3800 meters (which is about 11,500 feet - as tall as the peak of Mt. Hood!). We then hiked up a trail that was nearly vertical, and climbed about 400 meters...about 1100 feet in a matter of maybe maybe a quarter mile horizontal distance. It was one of the hardest things I´d ever climbed, and add to that the altitude and thin air to begin with! I´ll add a picture or two of the area so be sure to check out my photo album! After working our way back down to the cab, we headed back down the hillside a little to where there´s a "famous" waterfall. It wasn´t terribly impressive, because it´s the dry season here. I´m sure when it´s wet out, there´s got to be a ton of water pouring through. The pictures of the countryside and the canyon where the waterfall is did turn out nice though. We got this escorted tour from our cab driver (including the cab fare for a mere $10 per person...not bad for four hours of his time!). We then headed to the well-known indigenous market, where I made some great purchases of Alpaca wool products...including a great 100% Alpaca blanket for $12 and Alpaca socks for $2! After that, we went around the corner to this chicken roaster place and got a whole plate of food (I opted for the non-chicken plate), For $2 I got a steak patty (yes patty, it wasn´t hamburger), lentils, rice, a hot dog, soda and fries!

That´s pretty much the short version of the day. Tomorrow we are planning another tour of some small villages and scenic areas with the same driver, again for $10 per person.

Be sure to check out my pictures!

Posted by elddif 16:54 Archived in Ecuador Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

Otovalo, Ecuador

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We made it to Otovalo...It´s so much more relaxed here. The busride was very scenic, only two hours long, and we passed by some huge rose plantations (the US gets most of their cut roses from Ecuador). The busride was $2 total. The rate for any bus transportation in the country is $1 per hour. It was a comfortable bus with reclining seats. They played a movie, so if you didn´t have earplugs there was no sleeping. I walked around the city a little, took some great pictures of the town. The hostel we´re staying at is nicer than the last, which wasn´t at all bad, but a little expensive ($14/night). The name of it is Hostel Dona Esther (I´ll include a link at the end of this entry). Most of them in this town are around that price or higher. I had a killer dinner tonight, decided to splurge and got the $7 Filet Minon, complete with fresh broccolli, carrots, onion, and potatoes and cooked with bacon. It was a really good meal and now I´m stuffed. I also had some grapes the size of golf balls! There´s a huge market here, so I´ll explore that tomorrow. There´s also an extinct volcano close to town, I took a picture of it as well. You can see the cindercone in the middle of the partial volcano. It´s a pretty amazing sight to see. Well, I´m just about out of time again, so I hope you´re all enjoying my ramblings!

Hostel Dona Esther: http://www.hostelbookers.com/results/index.cfm?fuseaction=accommodation.search&isdynamic=1&strsearchby=destination&straccommodationtype=hostels&intdestinationid=3550&strdestination=otavalo&strdestinationparent=&intnights=2&intpeople=1&dtearrival=04/07/2010&fromPropertyNameSearch=0&intpropertyid=6642

Posted by elddif 16:25 Archived in Ecuador Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Quito

The new part of town...Mariscal Sucre

semi-overcast

So today I got up, and enjoyed another breakfast on the terrace. They served some melon (watermelon, cantelope) and pineapple, with some yogurt and house-made granola with coconut on top. Then I had some french toast. It was a good breakfast. After that, we all headed out to walk to some museums in the new part of town (Gringolandia). We visited the Casa De La Cultura and then ate a late lunch at a cafe that was way more expensive...the total cost was $35! It was good though, I had a soup with some potato blended into it, and pieces of potato and avocado with some cheese. It was really good. Also had some more ceviche. I think I´m going to get my fill here! After that we tried to scramble to the Botanical Garden in the city, but decided to try and make it to a different museum, which when we got there it was closed. It turned out to be an adventure though, we walked most of the city...it´s a HUGE city by the way. The photos I added are of the church near the Grand Plaza (Plaza Grande) and the other church that we were able to climb the bell towers. Talk about a view! There´ll be more pictures coming! There is also a statue of Mother Theresa on a hilltop, overlooking the city. Well, I´ve got to go, my internet time is about up!

Posted by elddif 17:45 Archived in Ecuador Tagged backpacking Comments (2)

We made it to Quito!

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View Ecuador and Peru on elddif's travel map.

Hey everyone! Well, we made it to Quito on Tuesday night, just as planned. Yesterday, we spent the day walking all over the oldtown/colonial district of Quito. It was pretty impressive. We saw some really old churches, I'll try to add some pictures soon, and just got ourselves oriented. Our dinner cost us a $1.50, including drinks! It was soup, and then piece of chicken in some sort of sauce, and rice and potatoes. I've never been so stuffed for so little money. Anyway, I'll try to add more details soon!

Posted by elddif 06:06 Archived in Ecuador Tagged backpacking Comments (2)

Getting ready...

Weiser, ID

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Right now I'm camping in Weiser, ID at the National Oldtime Fiddle Contest. I am going to be flying from Portland, Oregon to Quito, Ecuador on Tuesday, June 29th. Look for an update from Quito within a few days.

Posted by elddif 17:59 Archived in USA Comments (2)

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