Otavalo Valley (Kassandra Magruder)
Our guide picks us up early today and we head to the Otavalo Market. We visit a traditional weaver cooperative that weaves all of their wares by hand and loom. The weavers show us all of the natural dyes they use, which come from roots, nuts and other interesting sources. We buy the softest sweaters made from alpaca. We scour the market for the best deals and have fun haggling with the vendors. A very old indigenous woman is selling soft alpaca rugs, like the ones in Hacienda Pinsaqui. I talk with her for a half hour about how much work goes into making one of the rugs. When I leave with one of her rugs, she gives me a hug and tells me she has a grandson I would like. We return to our guide's truck in the afternoon and he laughs when he sees us lumbering down the street with all of our treasures. We have a late lunch at a local restaurant on the shores of the lake. I'm sad to be leaving Ecuador again. I wish our trip was not over. We head back to Quito and catch our flight back to the US. Tomorrow is back to work and reality.
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