Otavalo Market, the best acclaimed market in Ecuador. Almost a 2 hour bus ride from one of the stations in Quito to Otavalo, on a winding and scenic route. An old, overcrowded bus takes you to this bustling market town, packed with tourists and tourists alike. Food market? Animal market? Or handicrafts market? The choice is yours at Otavalo Market.
Colombia is so diverse. A quick trip to the man made lagoons of Guatapè two hours east of Medellin for a little bit of nature just as the Colombians do. We found ourself in Guatapè a once deprived declining tourism destination now a regeneration fantasy. During the holidays and on weekends Colombians and backpackers alike flood the colourful streets of Guatapè. A lot has been done to this small lakeside town to re-attract the city folk of Bogota, Medellin and even further afield. Pablo Escobar even used to holiday and own properties here once upon a time. I can only assume the demise of his operations had something to do with demise of Guatapè, but that's just speculation.
It would be an understatement to say that I was less than impressed at the prospects of a 4 day hike through the jungle. It would be an even bigger understatement to say I was a little over dramatic about the whole ordeal during the first few hours. And yes, I am slightly embarrassed of my stick-throwing-rock-kicking tantrum. But and it's a big but, I really couldn't be happier to have had this extraordinary experience. It was worth every bead of sweat (and there were many). I'm very grateful because for one, it was an extremely generous gift and two, I was given a chance to prove something to myself. The Lost City Trek would take us high into the Colombian jungle to The Lost City of Tayrona.