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Otavalo Valley
The Best of Ecuador - 2009

Guayaquil from above!Guayaquil from above! (Kassandra Magruder)
This morning, our guide picks us up from the hotel and we head north toward Otavalo. Along the way, we visit a bakery that specializes in a local delicacy, little flat breads. We also visit a rose farm. I didn't know that roses were Ecuador's third largest export! The Quito and Otavalo valleys are lined with volcanoes. I can't believe how high and beautiful the snow-capped peaks are. I wish we had more time to do some mountaineering! The indigenous Otavalenos are some of the most intriguing and proud people I have had the chance to encounter. Again, reminds me of my time in Guatemala and the people I was so lucky to live with. After the day's activities, we head to our home for the next few nights: Hacienda Pinsaqui. Pinsaqui is one of the oldest haciendas in the country and the place where Simon Bolivar, the liberator of Ecuador, stayed when in the area. I feel as if I'm in another world as I sip my wine in front of the huge fireplace. Peacocks wander through the courtyard as I read my book.

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