Markets and Spas
Jul 24, 2012
Up at 6:30 for breakfast – in the lounge right next to the lake. Dicks and other birds all over. After breakfast we headed out through town to an old Spanish textile factory – 1700s – where local Indians were held in virtual slavery. Through the ruins into (surprise!) shopping area, then through a winding path in an eucalyptus forest (they were introduced in the 1800s as a quick growing tree for fuel. Now they dominate the forest) to the Cascade de Pequche, a very nice waterfall of about 75 feet.
A brief stop at a local weaver's place where we saw traditional weaving and dying techniques as well as items for sale. Not pushy, which was nice, and a look at the back streets if a small town.
Then off to the Otavalo market. First we walked up about five blocks to the local food market – mostly fruit and vegetables but a large selection of meats as well. Some unusual products, such as pink potatoes. Then to the tourist market where tourist goods in profusion were offered up. Again the vendors no where near as pushy as other places. Still unable to find the goat horn I;ve been looking for...
Off to another town that specialized in leather goods. Alice looked for boots (all too expensive) and I looked for a wallet (none found). We had a nice lunch with potato soup then backto the bus. The town was full od small shops, but there were the traditional stall vendors as well – a much better deal for most things.
Then back on the road and crossed the equator a couple times. Mostly on the Pan-American Highway – a curvey road working its way through the Andes. Many extinct volcanoes, and a beautiful snow covered obe that we stopped to take a picture of. As we approached our highest altitude in Ecuador we ran into the clouds and saw a nice rainbow just before we hit 14,500 feet. We used the same pass as the conquistadors as they made their way into the Amazon to complete the conquest.
We eventually arrive at Papallacta and the thermal spas. Got another nice room with hot pools right outside the door! Alice and I got on our suits and jumped it. Air temperature about 65. Pools about 100 – 110,
One of the families on the tour has a 16 year old and they were all going to get “the Spa Treatment.” So Alice went and got in a special hot pool, then a sauna, then a 30 minute massage. I got a massage as well – quite relaxing!
The I ran into Alice having dinner with Juan Carlos, our tour guide so I joined them.Alice headed off and I chatted with the guide for a while – he's been doing this for 32 years!
Finally back to the room, got Alice to bed, and back to the lounge to finish my school work (no internet in the room) and some other stuff. Finally got to bed around midnight.
Tomorrow – the Amazon!