A Saturday walk around Otavalo

Market day, that one time of the week when a quiet town comes to life. It’s the polar opposite of what us cyclists always find upon arriving in small towns across South America. Quiet and Tranquil. It’s where locals and tourists play the verbal game of who blinks first lose. You can find weavings, regional delicacies and local fruits in these places, all contributing to an explosion of colors.

Where Otavalo’s differ is the Saturday animal market. I’ve never seen quite like it. Backyard livestock growers come down to Otavalo hoping to turn their beloved “pet” into profit. Money in the bank. Everyone either went there to buy or sell, well, except for me. But the place is bustling. The energy so contagious at one point I just want to haggle for the sake of not being out of place. Until someone shove a cuy in my face.

Dawn patrol. 5:30 call time at the Animal Market.
Tailgating scene in the Animal market
Let me out! Knowing what his fate will be.
Holding court, convincing buyers his livestocks will get you a bang for a buck.
A woman and her piglets.(note the makeshift bed)
Cuy. Local delicacy that I should try before leaving South America. They’re so cute  though, I don’t think I can summon the courage. Sigh.
These guys are definitely in the wrong petting zoo
In the poultry section
Stepping back to appreciate the hustle and bustle
Llamas on sale too in case you want a more unique household pet
I was tempted to buy them to save them from their destination – the dinner table.

After a couple of hours in the Animal Market, the throngs of tourists arrived. The attention turned to them instead of the livestocks. That was my cue to go to the “actual” market in the center of town.

Morning guitar sessions, I’m sure some local firewater is involve
So tempting to buy until you realize you come on bike. That one time when you just hate to be a cyclist.
I found my long-haired comrades.
Local tatertots. 😉

As the afternoon approaches, the whole scene starts to slow down. Stalls, one by one, dismantle their makeshift store tents.

Perhaps a good business day?
The local male world paused. Real Madrid takes the Champions League against Atletico Madrid via penalty shootout.
After the Champions League match, I found myself peeking inside the Coliseo de Gallina. Reminds me of the Philippines.
A long tiring day with a smile…

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Your photos and writing are always incredible, but this post may be may favorite so far. That last photo of the two women…… it’s absolutely beautiful.


  2. Thanks for the kind words John!


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