If you are looking for some color in your life, head to the Saturday Otavalo Market in Ecuador. A two hour taxi drive (or a four hour bus) from Quito leads you through massive rose nurseries and the shadow of a massive volcano before plopping you in Otavalo. Well worth the trip, Otavalo is full of vendors who want to sell you stuff. Bargain hard and shamelessly.
After hiking all day from Quilotoa, I found myself out of breath and knee deep in the middle of Ecuadorian Andes. But just around the bend lies one of the top eco lodges in Ecuador, the Black Sheep Inn.
Given that my daily budget is around $20, I hummed and hahhed over whether I should shell out the $35 per night. Included in the price were 3 delicious vegetarian meals. Would it be worth it? I doubted myself.
Then I found out that there was unlimited access to their yoga studio.
Arriving at the emerald green Quilotoa lagoon, a smile crawls across my face. Being unemployed really isn’t that bad.
Getting to Quilotoa is really half the fun.
Most of the bus schedules require you to wake up early and start from Latacunga. We run to make the 8am bus to Zumbahua, paying the $2 along with the rest of the poncho-clad and fedora-with-a-peacock-feather wearing locals.
As I struggled to stay awake, an agrarian lifestyle I can’t even fathom passes me by. The foothills of the central Andes are drop dead gorgeous and it seems like I’ve been transported back in time. Terraced farm land rises up the mountains in varying shades of green, black and yellow. Surrounding them are tiny, one room, concrete houses with thatched roofs. Local women herd lots of woolie sheep, pigs and of course, llamas.