Ecuador – Day Five: Pujilí Market, Cotapaxi Province & Baños

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This was the view from my cottage bedroom window this morning as I was trying to get out of bed. It was difficult. Either my allergies are really triggered by all these incredibly beautiful flowers or I’m getting a cold. Regardless, I could have stayed here with this view all day.

My suitcase is a disaster, so repacking every two nights has its challenges. But, I was able to get it zipped with all my loot from the Otavalo Market and we loaded up the bus for Baños this morning.

Today was mostly a travel day for us, but our tour guide, Effe, was bound and determined to pack a few learning experiences into our itinerary along the way. We finally ran into some rain today. It was the first we’ve seen on the trip. We traveled through Cotapaxi Province on our way to Baños, home of the largest active volcano in the world. Considered a sacred mountain, Cotapaxi last erupted in 2016 and is worshiped by the indigenous people here.

Within Cotapaxi Province is the Pujili Market, an indigenous produce market that would put any local farmer’s market in the US to shame. There were so many different types of fruits we’d never seen and everything was $1/bag.

 

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Our first stop after the market was for lunch at the home of a famous local painter who sells his paintings at many of the local markets. His family has a beautiful garden with many types of fruits, flowers and herbs.

 

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Next, we stopped in a small village called La Victoria, known for its pottery making. One of the local shops hosted us to show us how they use molds to make many of their traditional designs before firing them in their kiln for 2 hours. They then paint them with fine detail and bright colors for the public to purchase. We each had the opportunity to select a mold, press the clay, and prepare our designs for firing. They’ll fire them and send them to us a little further on in the trip.

We arrived in Baños around dinner time, checked into our hotel and took a walk to the plaza to choose a restaurant. We chose to dine at Restaurante Amarelo, a delicious Mediterranean restaurant directly across from the plaza. We started off with a fresh bruschetta drizzled with olive oil then I had a linguine with basil, walnut pesto and grilled shrimp. Perfecto!

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Our hotel has balconies!

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