I learned that there was a town that produced fine gold filigree jewelry and I put that on my list of "must see's" because I've always loved jewelry. More importantly, I found that there was is a very large Indian market in the town of Otavalo. It sounded like that could well be a good source of crafts. My game plan was to check out Otavalo first and see if I really would find some good things to buy in quantity. I also planned to check out the gold filigree though I knew it would be out of my scope to import in quantity.
I set off for Otavalo the day after arriving in Quito, the capital of Ecuador. The trip was fantastic, winding through mountains and valleys for a few hours, before arriving in a lovely small town. I found a hotel and scouted the local stores. All were loaded with knitted sweaters, gloves and hats. The surprise was finding very attractive wool felt hats in a variety of luscious colors. I waited another day and went to the market to see if I could find better prices and I certainly did. Even with no bargaining, I was able to buy fantastic sweaters for under $10.00 and hats for a few dollars. I spent every spare dime I had, stuffed everything in burlap bags, and hired a driver with a small truck to take me back to Quito. I moved everything into storage at the hotel where I would be staying the night before returning to the States. With one night's rest, I went off to see the country, certain that I would recoup my traveling expenses.
spent a glorious week in the Galapagos Islands and returned to Quito
for one night before setting off on a jungle tour. It was the first
and only organized tour I'd ever taken, but the idea of "touring" a
jungle area alone seemed really daunting. The tour company was a disaster.
We were on a river boat deep in a jungle area and essentially
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