Thursday, November 4, 2010

nice to be home

Well I just got back after a 4 day tour of some places up north with our good friends Barbara and Howard. Donna is headed bak to the US for a visit so we went early to see some sites.We flew to Quito on Saturday and from the airport took a van to Otovalao (2-2 1/2 hour drive).
We got to the hostil in the early afternoon and were able to hit the big market day. This is the place for alpaca blankets, ponchos, jackets at very nice prices. We loaded up on blankets and got some gifts (sorry mom not telling, you will see soon) for family.
The next day we went to Cotacochi (20-30 min drive from Otavolo) and that is the place for leather goods. Everything you can imagine is there. It is a nice place but on either side of this town like towering book ends are two "sleeping" volcanos, the locals call them Mama and Papa.
The next day we went to San Antonio (20-30 min from Cotacochi). This town is where they do wood carvings. Statues, pictures, bowls, you name it. I was amazed when Barnera and Howard scored a beautiful walnut statue and had it shipped to Cuenca for $5 bucks delivered to thier place. Wow, that is service. We were about 3 hours from the Columbian boarder in this area.
I would post photos but Donna brought the camera to the US for her visit.
We had a great time but I must say it is nice to sleep in my own bed. Donna have a great time and I will see you soon. Do not forget to lift with your knees.

Until next time..............J without D

If you are interested in going to these areas I would recommend these places.

Dona Esther in Otavalo, $34 a night- resturant is ok but you could do better elswhere
Mira Flores (Land of the Sun now) in Cotacochi, $59 a night- includes breakfast (very good)
Boutique Hotel in Quito (in old town) $61 - 95 (we booked online for 61)
*all places fees inluded all service and tax. All rooms were very clean and all showers had great pressure and good hot water (2 things that make or break a hotel stay for us), we did not drink the water. When in doubt bottled is the way to go.