viernes, 27 de noviembre de 2009

Enjoying the Saturday market of Otavalo

About 3 weeks ago we went to the village of Otavalo to experience the famous Saturday market. Every day of the week you should be able to find some stands with traditional clothes, Ecuadorian handicrafts and local fruits at the centre of this nice little town, but on Saturday the market should be endless and therefore really worth the two hours driving.
It was early in the morning when Hugo came to pick us up. He almost always transports us to the destination of the excursion, while he´s a reliable driver and above all a very nice person. We were a small group that day, but with very different nationalities. ´Ozzie´ Peter had been travelling through Costa Rica for quite a few weeks, while Richard decided to visit Ecuador to see if it would be possible to enjoy his retirement here instead of the States. Braden and Hannah, both from New Zealand, had been travelling for quite a while and Aaron was completing his Spanish course as part of his studies in the USA here.

By 9.30 a.m. we arrived at the animal market in Otavalo, where locals sell chickens, pigs, cows, dogs, cats, guinea pigs (cuy) and rabbits. This market takes place just on Saturday mornings for about 3 hours and is therefore always crowded:

After strolling around for half an hour, we headed to to the Otavalo Market, one of the most important and spectacular handicraft markets in Latin America. We spent various hours at the vivid centre of the town, because there was so much to see, try and buy:

Around 1 p.m we entered a restaurant for lunch. After having a delicious ´almuerzo´, we drove to the ´Cascada de Peguche´, a charming waterfall close to Quito. We spent about an hour walking around and climbing a bit up:

On the way back, we decided to visit the Condor Park of Otavalo, a rehabilitation center for condors, eagles and other types of birds. Most of them were rescued from illegal captivity or inadequate housing. At 4.30 p.m. there was a free flight show, during which we were able to see all these diferent big birds in action so close. It was quite an impressive show:

We had a great day, with lots of beautiful impressions and nice purchases. It was well worth it!

viernes, 13 de noviembre de 2009

We´re back!

Excuse us for not actualizing our blog lately, we have been busy improving the website during the last couple of weeks. We hope to launch the new version of it soon!

As the new student coordinator and thus administrator of this blog, I´ll first introduce myself shortly. I´m Rick, a 23-year old Dutch guy who just finished his studies about Business Communication and the Spanish language. About 2 years ago I mostly learned Spanish by living half a year in Santiago de Chile, which I liked so much that I decided to go back to South America whenever possible.
That moment came directly after finishing my final tesis, which I wrote about the image of Ecuador as a holiday destination. So even though I hadn´t been in Ecuador before, I was already interested in this diverse country. And now that I´m living here temporarily, I can approve that it´s a beautiful place to visit!

Hopefully you´ll enjoy reading my reports on the excursions we´ve made with the students. If you have any comments, suggestions or questions, don´t hesitate to contact me via ¡Muchas gracias!