|After spending some days in quiet Otavalo its time to continue. During the night it rained the first time since I am here. As I heard it had not rained since december - what caused a energy crisis as ecuador depends nearly 100% on hydropower. From january to march is ecuadorian winter, not to compare with our winter as here the four seasons are not that different, but during that time normally it should rain frequently.
As I was somehow bored to jump again to the bus and the fact that to Ibarra it is only some half an hour, I got a good price from my local taxi driver to bring me there directly. I think speaking their language helps you a lot to access the people here, they are very open and helpful, he even wanted to invite me before to spend sunday with him and his family. So we drove down the panamericana to Ibarra, talking about this and that, about his relatives living in spain. A lot of ecuadorians migrated in the 90s out of economical reasons to the states and for a big part to spain, where during the last years they had a good live. Just now with the exploding unemployment rates there a lot of racism against immigrants shows up.
Ibarra is much bigger than Otavalo and it has a beautiful colonial architecture, the city looks much more cleaner and organized, has paved ways. You can find here a mix from indigenas, students and afroamericans. Ten years ago Ibarra was the starting point for a famous train ride to San Lorenzo on the coast. Unfortunately when the paved highway was finished the train service was stopped, a very small part is still in service for touristical reasons.
If you walk down the Parque de La Merced you find a lot of little shops selling Nogadas(Nougat) and some other sweet stuff. Looked really delicious but having my teeth in mind I did not try. But fore sure I tried one of the famous helados (Icecream) from Rosalia Suarez, as it was mentioned in my guide not to leave the city without having tried one of them. Its really delicious!