Saturday, June 15, 2013

more highlands adventure

so our day continues and we are lucky enough to find two friends of Oswaldo "home" so that we are introduced to the family that makes instruments of many kinds and then also to a local shaman (who is rarely home as she lectures world-wide on her techniques) and then finally before we headed off for lunch- a quick glance at making chichi... the fermented corn drink of the Andes.

on to the shaman- she was supposed to be curing Phil of whatever ailed him- even though I had been horribly ill the night before I was only a little weak- no longer sick- he was still coughing and wheezing.... so we decided to give it a try-

well to be completely honest - he wasn't too keen on the idea but since I am the photographer he had to be the guinea pig- LOL

well he survived - and actually was only worse for the wear due to her spraying some concoction on him that included some rank perfume-

she doesn't claim to heal - only to rid you of the negativity that might be causing your ill health.... and even being in the orbit of the process was supposed to be good for you- maybe that is why I was back in good health by the following day- LOL- maybe not... you can never tell!

so onward to the yard where we saw the chicha  brewing -

 (the cat was helping- LOL- just like Lucy and the laundry!)

even though the stuff is vile the process of drying the corn made for some really nice photos...

off to lunch where Phil and Oswaldo had shrimp after we all had soup to start- a vegetable and barley soup that was perfect for my first solid food intake after being sick the night before.

from there we headed into Quito (a few hours drive through some lovely scenery) and to our posh hotel right next to the Presidential Palace or White House (called both by locals) 


our room was fabulous but mostly what I remember is the bed was nice because I basically went to sleep at 5:30 PM due to having been up all night the night before.  I woke up around 9 PM and had a package of crackers I had been carrying around since when Phil was sick.  Phil ate snacks I had brought along and the fruit from the welcome tray the hotel had left us (with a bottle of sparkling wine that neither of us was in any shape for drinking)

Breakfast started at 6:30 but we were being picked up for our transfer to the airport at that hour so no eating until we got to the airport.  We are off to Cocoa and our Amazon adventure....  if you want a sneak preview of the photos you can see them at the website I made for sharing our photos with our three fellow travelers -

here is the link:

back soon with more of the story!

an interruption

an interruption for just one photo- I follow the blog of a guy named Peter Olson- he writes Peter's Paris a wonderful blog about being a retired Swede living in Paris- and just browsing there this evening I came across this magnificent photograph he had taken and I want to post it and recommend his site to all- it is informative and visually you won't find more consistently fabulous photos of Paris than Peter's Paris!

isn't this just wonderful?!?!

here is the direct link- to this post-


more Otavalo market time

I am going to start with a series of the mostly beautifully displayed produce I have seen in any of the numerous markets we have visited worldwide-

then go on to more goodies-


this market wasn't just for food- it was for eating and selling other household items as well-

I don't think I have yet mentioned that the world's largest exporter of roses is Ecuador and the flowers are all grown here in the highlands  around Otavalo.

and although it may seem odd- we ran across this clown getting coffee on our way out of the market - LOL

from the food and household market in the city center we went to the handicraft market which featured many things that looked much like the Pisac market - lots of touristy items but there were a few different things here- like loads of Panama hats (as always made in Ecuador) and some lovely fabric along with some native beads we did not see in Peru-

and still touristy stuff - like T-shirts etc... most of which I didn't bother photographing but since we were headed to the amazon in two days, this one caught my eye-

next up - some more stops along the way in the Highlands and then into Quito-