Posted by: jimndianne | December 4, 2009

Cotacachi

04 December 2009 Ecuador

Tired as we were from the previous night, it didn’t stop us bounding out of bed when the church bells rang at 7 a.m. We just had to find out what it was like outside! Arriving in a new place in the dark is always exciting the next day so after a hurried 011 087

breakfast we rushed across the courtyard of our hotel, Meson de Las Flores, and out the door to 076 080

see the magnificent square and church at our doorstep. What a sight and what a beautiful town Cotacachi looked with its neatly set out streets –  and the wonderful indigenous people!! Are we in for a treat here! This was such a contrast with Mexico which was full of cars, noise and exhaust fumes. Here the street system is mostly one way and the density of cars much less. The streets 077themselves are wide and clean and we found it very pleasant walking around the town.

Arriving here at festival time we came across numerous groups playing very traditional South American music which echoed around the streets.

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The delightful indigenous Ecuadorians,  dressed in their traditional clothes, are very happy to give you a big beaming smile. Getting a photo is a little more difficult but usually with gentle persuasion one can be achieved. The older folk are of very short stature and even at our height we seem like giants.

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We plan to look around this area by ourselves and later in the week take a real estate tour down on the pacific coast. 086 Staying at the hotel are a number of people who will be joining us on this tour and they are doing the same as we are now, exploring Cotacachi. It is a town of just 30,000 people, however it seems much less than that as there are few people on the streets.

One of the hotel guests is a nice Californian lady, Jan, who brought her little Papillon dog with her on the plane, sitting on her lap all the way! As she’s been in Ecuador a few weeks already she has been able to pass on a lot of local knowledge, which is always useful. She mentioned she has been invited this evening to a “Gringo” night at a local housing complex and felt we could also attend, which we did! For a modest $US7.50 each to cover our meal, and an accompanying bottle of red wine, we were able to meet up with local expats who live here, most on a permanent basis. Our host, an American film producer, was very amiable, welcoming us to his white walled, red roofed, spacious adobe house in the complex. Around thirty people attended and we were fed a very tasty meal of barbequed spicy chicken pieces, salad, eggplant parmigiana and garlic bread, followed by a nice wine-cake dessert. A young man stood up and explained how many of the expats were presently helping local children continue their schooling past the primary level by assisting their parents with the costs of books, uniforms and fees. This would allow them to go on to High School, normally beyond the realms of possibility for the majority. A $15 donation per month would allow this to happen. We could easily see ourselves becoming involved with this very worthwhile project, as we had donated towards a similar one during our years in Indonesia. We have also been invited to visit the homes of two of the local expats and will follow up on this in the next few days. Then down came the monsoonal rains just as we were standing outside on the terrace and we all retreated indoors. What a great evening it was! Back to the hotel by taxi due to the rain, only a short distance,  and we paid the $1 fee happily.


Responses

  1. Your travelogue makes great reading at this end. Keep it up for us stay at home arm chair dwellers.
    Cheers K


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