Although the crafts stalls kept pulling us back, we did find time to explore some of the other sites around Otavalo. Monday, we all went for a hike around Lago Cuicocha, a pretty lake in the center of a volcano. We hiked around the rim of the crater (about a 4 hour hike - both girls did a great job), in and out of the fog, with views of the lake and its two little islands, as well as of the surrounding countryside, including a nearby snow-flecked mountain.
Tuesday we went to the nearby village of Peguche, only four or five km from Otavalo. There isn't too much to see in town, although the rhythmic click-clack of electric looms can be heard from inside most houses. Peguche also has a beautiful waterfall, just a 10 minute hike from town.
There is an internal and external component of travel. And so while the whole region around Otavalo is beautiful and rich geographically and culturally, I, and all of us, would rather be elsewhere. Home. We've had a great year, we've had a great five weeks of traveling, but now, the end, and our next beginning, is just too close at hand. Instead of really diving into what surrounds us, we are all just sort of killing time, awaiting our flight home. I don't say this with any negative judgment, I just think this is natural, and to be expected. Tomorrow we fly!