Video : "Otavalo, Quito, Ba" Marc-patty's photos around Otavalo, Quito, Baños, Riobamba, Guayaquil
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Entry from: Otavalo, Quito, Baños, Riobamba, Guayaquil, Ecuador
Entry Title: "Otavalo, Quito, Ba"
"Efficient Immigration (not!) We walk over the border from Colombia to Ecuador. Ecuadorian immigration has a really organised system whereby you have to queue up once to get a blank immigration form, and then queue up again in the same line, with the completed immigration form, to get your passport stamp. Quite why they can't leave the forms out for people to help themselves we don't know. It would make a lot more sense and save everybody time, but we've come to realise that common sense is not a Latin American strong point, at least with anything government related. The Ecuadorian Merry-go-Round (also known as the bus system) We get a shared taxi to the bus station on the Ecuadorian side of the border, and get our first taste of how the Ecuardorian bus system works. Literally, as soon as you've got out of the taxi which has brought you to the station, you're pounced on by a load of men who yell out every destination under the sun. When you mention where you want to go, all of them seem to have a bus which is just about to leave, and which goes there. You wring out a guarantee from one of the touts about the imminent departure of the respective bus, and he rushes you through the bus station's crowds in some sort of panic, as if to say that if you don't run, the bus will have left. He then leads you on to a bus which is empty. You say "are you sure this bus is leaving now?". He answers, "yes 5-10 minutes max". If you're lucky, 30 minutes later the bus will leave, but that's not the end of the story. The bus will have only left the bus station, and will proceed to spend up to another half an hour, going round in circles through the town centre, beeping and shouting at any passers by, trying to get more passengers. We've experienced this phenomenon so many times now, that we have a nickname for it, "The Carnival Parade", where we've taken to waving at the passers by as we travel in circles around town, passing the main square about at least 10 times before we eventually leave the town. Certainly a shock after the efficient Colombian bus system. Anyway, we eventually arrive at Otavalo, our first Ecuadorian destination. As the bus was a through bus to Quito, it dumped us on the side of the main highway, instead of at the bus station (another lie from the tout). So we firstly had to walk 30 minutes into the centre of town, before looking for somewhere to stay. The main reason we've come here is to see the famous Saturday Otavalo market which just happens to be tomorrow. The market was huge, it seemed to go on forever, selling everything imaginable. As it wasn't very touristy, we wondered how any of the vendors made a living, with the amount of competition. Back on the Gringo Trail at Quito Next we head to Quito. After the honesty of the Colombian taxi drivers, we're now back in Gringo land, where you can just see the taxi driver thinking deeply about how much he thinks he can get out of these foreigners, before he eventually tells you the price. This is tiring, as sometimes you need to ask several taxi drivers before you get quoted the proper price. Though, one great advantage of being back in Gringoland was apparent as soon as we arrived to our hostel, which is located in the new part of town, along with multiple other hostels. The whole area was teeming with bars and restaurants offering every type of foreign cuisine imaginable, something which we haven't ..."
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Photos from this trip:
1. "Arriving in Ecuador"
2. "Otavalo Market"
3. "Indigenous women selling veggies"
4. "Food vendors"
5. "That's a lot of fruit!"
6. "Food market, Otavalo"
7. "Quito's Old Town"
8. "Ready to shoot!"
9. "The incorrect line showing the Equator!"
10. "The real Equator as calculated by GPS"
11. "Egg experiment"
12. "View over the town of Baños"
13. "Making melcoches, a Baños speciality"
14. "View of the Tungurahua volcano"
15. "Beautiful gorges around Baños"
16. "Cycling down the valley to Rioverde"
17. "Pailon del Diablo waterfall in Rioverde"
18. "Leaving Riobamba on the roof of a train..."
19. "Some of the views along the train ride"
20. "Friendly locals greeting us along the way"
21. "Us enjoying the journey"
22. "View towards the Back of the train"
23. "Crops and Cattle on the roof of a bus"
24. "Kids catching lollies thrown from the train"
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