Ecuador's Galapagos Islands - 2003

OTAVALO We were to spend Sunday in Otavalo, a market city about 120 kms northeast of Quito. This was a lovely ride over the Pan-American Highway for the most part through the marvelously steep Andean valleys with little towns clinging to their sides and brooding volcanoes forming rings around every arc of the views. There were plunging gorges and foaming rivers flinging themselves down the cliff sides. These little agricultural communities are mainly Indian and looked to be hardly more than subsistence farming for the most part. We stopped in a small town, Calderone, where a lady made dough figurines. They were colorful and fetching little things and we did buy some because they were so cheap and we knew how poor the people are. We drove on a while through some rather intimidating traffic patterns too—people drive wildly in the wild Andes. Next, we stopped at a little convenience store area with a large terrace overlooking the largest Ecuadorian lake, Lago San Pablo. It was a good view and we also saw lots of terracing going up the hillsides for agriculture.

A little senora (we couldn’t tell if she was mother or grandmother) and two small ninos were living there along with their llama, the lovely Rosita. All looked just

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