Monday, February 6, 2017

In Hot Water

We, especially Jim, love hot tubs, hot springs, steam rooms, and saunas.  Ecuador has a few of them including Chachimbiro which is 40 minutes from Otavalo.  Santagua manages a very economical resort for us seniors.  For $40 per person we enjoyed the run of the myriad pools, a lovely room with hot water and cable TV overlooking everything, and three bountiful meals each day.

A corporal (body) massage including a facial was offered.  I paid my $15 and discovered it was this great massage with red Andean mud lasting about half an hour.  What fun!  And what a sight my red body was afterwards!

Jim wanted to try one of the tube slides, but I do not think he did.

Temperatures ranged from cold to cool to warm to very warm to hot to very hot.  The steam room was very, very hot.  My favorite was the individual tub where I could soak in my preferred temperature of water and read my book at the same time.

                                We stayed two very restful days with nearly no one else there.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

More Markets

The huge square building containing the Otavalo food market was bigger than any Costco I have ever seen.  It is so big that the center probably could have held the animal market, but doesn't for obvious reasons.

Clothes are in one section, flowers, fresh cut meat and fish, dry goods, and produce are in others.  A ready to sit down and eat area is in one corner.  Just like Costco but Ecuadorian style; nothing is packaged.

Rice, lentils, other grains

Fresh salty platano chips, corn nuts, fried fava beans

Many pasta varieties

Cherimoya fruit


These potatoes probably came from the potato market.  We did go to the potato market, but there were just huge bags of potatoes.  We estimated the bags held about 50 kilos, and many men were hunched over carrying them on their backs.


Most people do not like having their photo taken, so I have a night photo of the Indian craft market.  Most had gone home, and in their place were little street food stands.

The Indian craft market by day.

What did you buy at the market today?  I bought two pair of alpaca socks, an alpaca shawl, a mango, a cherimoya, and fresh bread.  We also bought lemon meringue pie and vanilla ice cream at the Shenandoah Pie Shop which is opposite the south side of the market.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Animal Market of Otavalo

Otavalo often has four markets on Saturday...animal, food, Indian or craft, and potato.  I loved the animal market.  Cows, pigs, a horse, goats, sheep, roosters, chickens and chicks, ducks, bunnies, guinea pigs, a kitten, and a puppy were for sale.

The owner of our hotel had encouraged us to go to the animal market because there were over 65 farmers bringing in their garden produce to sell as well as animals.  The varieties and colors of the produce were amazing.


Squash, avocados, early peaches

Fava beans, cranberry beans, blackberries

A fruit for juice

Leeks were everywhere.

Tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, carrots, limes

Carrots, red onions, parsley, fingerling potatoes

Mango, papaya, pineapple

Pineapple, mango

Limes, carrots


And then there is all the prepared food, such as liver and fresh scallions.

Platanos or grilled banana, like a potato almost.

Boiled eggs

Fresh squeezed orange juice

Bagged herbs


Grilled corn

Fried fish

Fresh bread

Choclo or cooked hominy

Finally there are things for sale that you might need, like food for your animals.



More jewelry and wool shoes for the cooler weather

Plastic kitchenware



Wooden kitchen utensils


Was that not fun?  I guess it is the farmer in me that draws me to this animal market.