Michelle and Charlie's Around the World Trip 2004-2005 travel blog

everybody loves the market

say "chese"!

business ladies


ice cream time!


that's all that we got to see of Cotopaxi

waterfall at around 14 000 feet on Cotopaxi

the valley under the waterfall


Latacunga didn't have much going for it in my opinion except that I love saying the name. (When we were on the bus there we got to hear the name 1000 times since a kid hangs out the door and any time he sees a warm body on the side of the road yells LATACUNGA, LATACUNGA, LATACUNGAaaa!) It is also very close to Cotopaxi, so went on a one day tour/hike there. It probably would have been nice if it wasn't so cloudy that you could barely catch a glimpse of the peak even when we were sitting right under it. The best part about it was that we could test our acclimitization to altitude after spending a week and a half at around 9000 feet. It actually seemed to work and we were walking around up to 14,000 feet without feeling any effects of altitude.

We spent two nights in Latacunga waiting for Thursday which is the big market day in the neighboring town. The first night in the hotel was nice - we were the only ones on our floor and we even had a TV in our room. It was all in Spanish but we discovered you don't need to speak the language to enjoy a movie like Scream 3. The next night was not as good. The floor filled up (possibly with others going to the market the next day) and they stayed up late, most likely drinking by the sounds of revelry at night and the sounds of puking early in the morning. They still managed to get up at 5:00 am and turn on their tvs and make more ungodly noises. Well, I wanted to see local culture...


The Thursday market here is supposedly the most important in ecuador according to local economists and Lonely Planet. Apparently piles of baked pigs head and giant spoons are very important to the Ecuadorian economy. We managed to get a picture of some pigs heads for sale, but got yelled at for trying to take a picture of the giant spoons (or actually they might have not wanted us to take a picture of the kid in the cardboard box next to the spoons, although he looked thoroughly entertained with playing with smaller wooden spoons). When we got off the bus we weren't sure where the market would be, but after walking a few steps we realized the whole town turns into an outdoor market. We had fun wandering the aisles trying to guess what the various products were -- the pig heads were quite obvious what they were, but there were also hundreds and hundreds of big wheels of some kind of dark brown baked good or maybe cheese? Luckily we were there early enough that we were ready to leave by the time we saw any other tourists show up. Then we caught a bus on the side of the road in Latacunga for Riobamba. We felt like real locals by waving the bus down instead of getting it from the bus station.

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