The morning started out with a small omelet with peppers, raspberry juice, coffee and rolls with butter and jam. We also said grace.
We left for the Otavalo market, and we paired up with a Spanish speaker. I chose Luis, and so did Karka and Lindy. First he took us down one way, but then took us another way to see different things. We passed spices and chess sets. We stopped at a lady that would take care of us, and give us deals, so we didn’t haggle. I believe we bought the majority of our things there. She had scarves, blankets, shirts all of different patterns and sizes. I got a blanket, a shirt and 2 scarves (one masculine and one feminine). We walked around and stopped to look at stuff and haggle. Luis would scold us if we didn’t haggle because that is part of the game. Lindy found a carnaval mask for me. The mask was one sided and woven with 12 woven mounds to signify each month in different colors. We stopped for jewelry and trinkets. At the end, I bought a very large can of spray for carnaval because we were in the spirit. Lindy bought one for Luis. He was excited.
When we got back to the bus a few people were going to be late. Blanca said they should have to pay a toll. I put on my mask and scrunched myself between the seat back and the seat I was sitting on. Propped up, I waited. As they passed by I sprayed them, just a little bit to make them jump and be afraid. Then Jan and I had an all out spray competition on the bus. There was spray all over me and her, we fought over the same can for a while until she called truce. Truces always feel one sided.
When we got to the hotel, we had to fight to get off the bus. Luis was ready to spray. Karla offered to take my things if I would cover her. I tried my hardest spraying him while trying to distract him long enough for Karla and me to get off the bus. I waited for Luis to get off the bus. We had a spray fight and he hid behind Blanca. I ran back making Blanca collateral damage for getting Luis.
For lunch we had chicken tortilla soup, rice and beef tongue with avacado, and vanilla ice cream with raspberry sauce and chocolate chips. Pineapple juice accompanied.
In the afternoon, we took off to Culcocha Lake. The cost of the ticket was $3.50. With the ticket for the bus tour you also got a postcard and a free drink after. When it was our turn we loaded on the boat and off we went. Enjoying the calmness of the water, the views, and going through the over grown reefs we stopped on the backside of the island. The second boat that was behind us also stopped, but their boat drifted toward my face. I yelled, and a few of us stuck our hands out to prevent a boat collision with my face. There was a lot of angry people because of this carelessness.
About 3,000 years ago a volcano erupted, causing a crater but it has been calm since. There are no fish in the water due to the high sulfuric content. The water comes from rain and mountain run off.
After our boat ride, we got a free drink with our ticket. I believe it was called carnelasa. It was berry and citrus with cinnamon. It was so hot it burned my tongue.
We quickly hopped back on the bus to leather town. It was a small outdoor market. Out where we were going to meet, there was a statue of a woman holding a harp. There was also a catholic church across the street, they were in session.
When it was time to get on the bus, we all did except Rene. We had lost him. The bus driver tried to manuver the bus by backing up and taking that road. Luis had to direct him because it was tight. We headed down the road a few blocks passed the church, Blanca got off and I tried to call him. I texted instead. The bus driver backed up the hill and eventually everyone got back on. He told us he went to buy a leather jacket. Cash would have been cheaper, but he couldn’t get the ATM to work so he paid with card.
We got back and had some free time. I could hear Ken talking outside and Rene came out and said he wouldn’t bother me because I was writing. I told him he could talk. He told me about the American he saw at the market the day before. He didn’t buy anything he just took pictures of everything. He compared it to trying to get a photography award for poverty. And we talked more about how some people only focus on what we perceive as flawed and not the people and beauty that surrounds us.
At dinner, we had more carnelaso type tea. This one was yellow, citrus and cinnamon. We had potato soup with cheese and cilantro, fries, steak medallions, and cold salad with peas and apples. After dinner they told us we were going to a restaurant with live music and have dessert and coffee.
We went to Sisa, and I got a frappuccino and blackberry cheesecake. We laughed with Jan as she was making fun of herself. I haven’t laughed so hard in a while. Some of our crew were trying to figure out what was going on.
Marilyn brought two extra people, one was Isabel. They are nice people. We took goofy photos outside. Amber and I flexed for the camera. I made a gesture of pulling up my pant leg and sticking out my thumbs. Janel laughed. I repeated it as the bus came closer. He opened the door, I yelled “It worked” and bolted onto the bus. Janel suggested that Luis and I are kindred spirits, but I am sure Amber and I are too.