From Pasto, Colombia where Cameron and I met, we took a taxi-bus-taxi–walked-collectivo (shared van)-bus-taxi to our hostel is Otavalo, Ecuador. (Don’t worry, after Ecuador we’ll head back to Colombia for more time there)
Otovalo is listed in LP’s top 12 things to do in S America, mostly because it’s Saturday market swells to fill the streets of the whole town. Local people sell local artisan crafts, fruits and vegetables, and my personal favorite, live animals. They had everything from the cute, cuddly guinea pigs (the live version of local delicacy Cuy) to regular pigs of all sizes (some up to my waist) and kinds. Women walked around with their chickens either stuffed in a sack or swinging by their bound feet. It was utter chaos against the backdrop of Ecuador’s mountains. So much fun! I posted a photo album on photobucket with pictures from the market.
So far the Ecuadorians have been one of the most friendly, open, welcoming people I have ever met. Not to mention that Ecuador is full of interesting folks from all over the world. We just watched the World Cup Final (Yey Spain!!!) at a local bar with a Chilean, a few Ecuadorians, a Dutchman, and a Colombian.
The name of this blog came from an Ecuadorian named George. George was a vendor on one of our buses, selling soda and potato chips. He stopped to chat and give us advice on where to travel to. When talking about a hot tourist spot called Banos, he paused to practice his English and told us that there were ‘Muchos Misters” in banos, meaning many gringos. The name stuck. =)
Our nest step: Spend a week here in Quito. Beautiful churches, museums, good food…and most importantly my 26th birthday tomorrow!
Birthday plans include nearby hot springs (I could spend my entire trip hot spring, beach, and waterfall hopping- water makes me so happy. I guess I’m a true Cancer, huh?) and a good dinner!