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Friday, August 26, 2011

Northern Ecuador trip in a Nutshell

Dear Family and Friends,

I planned to spend more time sharing with you about our trip in northern Ecuador but life is getting in the way.  We returned to Cuenca Tuesday night and we are off to the coast tomorrow morning.  More about that later, right now I want to share pictures of our trip north with you.

We went to Cotacachi after we left Quito.  We spent one night there and enjoyed seeing the city.  We were curious about Cotacachi because this is another city that many North Americans choose for their retirement.  It is a small town located in a valley between two volcanoes, Cotacachi and Ibarra. 

This is the volcano named Cotacachi that we could see from our hotel room.

This is the other volcano, named Ibarra.

The city specializes in leather goods.  They have a whole street several blocks long dedicated to leather stores.  Chuck bought a real nice leather jacket.

We drove from Cotacachi to the Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve.  This is a lake that is in the crater of a volcano that erupted thousands of years ago. It reminded us of Crater Lake in Oregon, but not as large.  Notice the two islands in the lake...they are cones that have formed since the eruption.

We drove to Ibarra and then to Tumbabiro and stayed in a wonderful hosteria that Chuck had read about.  It is owned and operated by Germans.  The name is Hosteria Pantiva

It reminded us a lot of Izhcayluma in Vilcabamba.  A real nice hosteria.  Here are some pictures I took while we were there.

We met a very nice couple, Sandy and Phil, who have lived near the hosteria for about 7 months.  They bought a lovely home with beautiful gardens just up the road.  They are the only gringos living for miles around.

They invited us to spend the day with them and showed us their beautiful property.  They took us to Mascarilla, a village about 30 minutes away.  This village is occupied by black people who came from Esmeraldas, Ecuador to work in the sugar cane fields.  The women in this village make ceramic masks.  We shopped and enjoyed seeing their beautiful work.

We spent the night in Ibarra and the next morning headed to Peguchi-Otavalo.  We shopped for woven rugs and wall hangings.  Their work is very good and the colors are so vibrant.

From there, we went to Banos.  We stayed a couple of nights in Banos relaxing and enjoying wonderful restaurants.  One reason we went to Banos was to visit the Biblioteca Interactiva (Interactive Library).  This is an after school program for the children of Banos.  The Biblioteca has yard sales to help fund their program.  We cleaned out our condo over the last month and took things there for them to sell at their next yard sale.

Here is Chuck chatting with one of the ladies who works with the children.....

And, here are some of the kids having fun playing a game.

After resting up in Banos we headed back to Cuenca.  On the way home we stopped in Guano, located just outside of Riobamba.  This town is noted for their beautiful hand tied carpets.  We bought carpets for the rental condo as well as where we live now.

We were very interested in how the carpets are made.

We really loved the quality and had a hard time deciding which carpets to buy.

This is a rug we bought for the condo where we live.

Between my luggage from the U.S. and the treasures we bought on our trip, we had a full load when we arrived in Cuenca.

It was a wonderful trip and we look forward to going back to some of the places we visited.

Now..the reason I am sharing the whole trip in one post is because we are leaving in the morning to go to Santa Rosa for a festival.  Lourdes and William invited us to go and celebrate with them.  We are very excited to participate in this Ecuadorian experience.

I'll share about our trip to Santa Rosa next time.


1 comment:

  1. It looks like a wonderful trip, Nancy. I love the photos of the beautiful hosteria and the gorgeous rugs and wall hangings!

    Looking forward to seeing you in September. Have a fun time at the Festival.

    Can't wait to see those pics, too!



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