Wednesday, April 27, 2005


So having felt like a 60 year old lady with asthma for days I have finally got my mojo back this week. We have hightailed it out of scary old Quito and have taken the bus outta hell (in terms of speed anyway) two hours north to the very traditional town of Otavalo.

Here amongst the pointy snow capped extinct volcanos live a large population of the local indigenous people - who are renowned for their amazing craft making skills, from weaving, knitting, jewellery making and sculpting. It´s a lovely quiet, friendly and most importantly safe place and has neen so nice to wander the streets by day and by night with no problems.

The most wonderful thing about the place is that the locals still dress the way they did 100 years ago, and they are really sharp dressers. The men have long plaits all the way down their backs, they wear jaunty little felt trilby hats in dark green or brown, white shirts, wide tweed trousers topped with a poncho. The women are super elegant in long black skirts, little rope sandals, white embroidered blouses and bright red shawls. They also wear rows of gold glass beads around their necks. It´s a really good look and I feel like a drab little tomboy in my jeans and jumper as they shuffle elegantly past.

Only annoying thing is that there are quite a number of earnest hippy types (western travellers) who can be found sitting around in cafes smoking a lot and looking intense all day long. Oh well, as long as they're having a good time I guess.......I just hope I don´t turn into one of them!


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