So what Guamote is really known for is its weekly market. Otavola is known for the same reason but Guamote has a whole different thing going on. The entire town shuts down to traffic and stalls are everywhere. Livestock, fruits, vegetables, grains, housewares, natural remedies, secondhand clothes–everything is for sale.
My friends for the day were an Ecuadorian Amazon guide and a German English teacher. We started in the area where livestock feed is sold, next to the cemetery, and made our way slowly into town. I told O, the guide, about my reluctance about taking photos of people and he was more than happy to grab my camera from time to time and shoot some pictures he thought I should be taking back with me. This is the same guide whose eyes sparkled when I showed him photos of friends kayaking up in Alaska. What a trip that would be for him.
I bought my first treat of the day, ice cream, from a street vendor for twenty-five cents. It was coconut (or sweet milk) with layers of fruity jam. Then for lunch, I ducked into one of the food stalls set up on the street, pulling up a seat right next to an amused young mom and her son. I ordered the plate of the day and got fried chicken, rice, potatoes, and a beet salad. A glass of juice too but the juice here, if not fresh, is on a spectrum between Tang and Jello–not so great. But the meal itself was the best I’ve eaten yet and all for $1.