I still can’t believe this dream has finally come true…. I have the strong impression this peaceful country is the end of my quest for Andean mysteries…a sort of twin figure to Iceland, full of volcanoes yet very little snow and  so many heights and sights.

I guess my love for authentic places and cultures originates in my own diverse cosmopolitan background!

My first stop was in an old hacienda in Otavalo where my first night at over 2000 meters was rather agitated!
It’s true that adding to my tiredness I had drunk a “Canelazo con naranjillia= corito para dormir”


Otavalo welcomes its visitors with a representation of its indigenous people, starting with its hero Ruminjawi ( fought for atawalpa). His name means stone-face!
Llapingacho

It was the opportunity to discover the largest market in South America… which is moving out of its original location next month!


Mais: choklo, motte, tostado


Before this, we had attended the colorful animals market


And I got a crash course on equatorian cuisine with the Fritadas

And many delicacies such as the guinea pig, the ceviche, the fried yuca and chicken soup to name just a few!

Imbabura 4620


Mirador 2850

Chocho lupin

Equavolley

Yet the highlight of my Christmas was my dinner and overnight stay at Soledad and Alfonso’s with their adorable children, Amoury (” un des enfants qui ont créé l’arco iris”) and Anayani (princessa) Sawani (tourner le temps) Cargar al gugua (wawa) and my amazing Christmas Mass in Cotacaxi!