Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Travel Log, Sunday, July 11, Otavalo

We arrived in Otavalo yesterday afternoon after a day's stopover in Quito. Saturday is the main market day here, and while we arrived way too late to see the animal market, the artisan market was still going strong. Otavalo is the most famous place in Ecuador for crafts, and stalls lined the streets and filled the "Plaza de Ponchos." We had saved some of our souvenir shopping for our visit here, so although I was pretty overwhelmed by it all, we dove in and shopped.

Today was the final of the Mundial, so we took a break from shopping and even site-seeing to chill and watch the game. We watched the game in the coffeeshop/tienda of a non-indigenous Otavaleño who had spent time in Albany, NY. Watching Spain beat Holland 1-0 in overtime with the locals was fun. At a few points when Spain was on the verge of scoring, the owner's Aunt, who wanted Holland to win, spun the thumb and forefinger on both her hands, (in a mini-itsy-bitsy spider move) while chanting something like "chumbale chumbale chumbale..." Must be an Ecuadorian curse that didn't quite work. It has been great traveling with the Mundial - always an easy way to strike up a conversation, asking about yesterday's results or predictions for today's game.

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