Saturday, July 10, 2010

Travel Log, Thursday, July 1, Saquisilí, Quilatoa Loop

We had an early, farm style breakfast and left for the market at Saquisilí, about an hour's drive further east. We had been through this town just two days earlier, on our way to Isinliví, and it was pretty sleepy. But Thursday is market day, and it is completely different. The market is spread out in five or six different plazas,and the streets are packed with people buying, selling and moving between areas. We started off in the animal market, where we saw people buying and selling pigs, sheep, cows, and various kinds of ropes and harnesses. This part of the market supposedly starts around 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning, but when we got there about 9:00, is was still fascinating enough for us...

We moved on to another square with a little of everything: small animals like chickens, (in cages and bags), cuy (guinea pigs), rabbits, hardware, furniture, mattresses, fish and music are what stand out for me.

When we got to the artisan section of the market, what struck me was not the beautiful weavings, paintings and other products, but rather the subdued energy in this square. Since there weren't many tourists, this square, with all it's stalls, was just so quiet, compared to the chaotic hustle and bustle of the other areas.

After a picnic in the main square, we drove north, thru Quito, and after only getting slightly lost, arrived in Mindo, about four hours later, as the sun was going down. First impressions: a riot of vegetation, like being inside a gigantic greenhouse in a botanical garden!

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