On a recent Saturday, we found ourselves in Otavalo, walking through the crafts market. This is one of the most important markets in the Andes, and one that Otavalo has hosted for hundreds of years. This market takes place daily, but on Saturday, the official market day, the market sprawls beyond its usual confines in the Plaza de Ponchos into adjacent streets, taking over the city centre.
Lori had made it very clear, before we took the 25-minute bus ride to Otavalo that Saturday morning, that we were going to explore the market, investigate what was available, but not purchase anything. But, what is the point of making rules if they can’t be broken every now and again. Sure enough, before too long, and after several rounds of friendly bargaining, Lori was the proud owner of a beautiful wool-cotton sweater. This sweater would be perfect for a Whitehorse winter. It may also come in handy in the Andean highlands, but this still remains to be seen. But how could Lori refuse this wonderful indigenous artisan who had toiled for five days to produce this sweater. Not only that but this sweater would represent her first sale of the day! We were putty in her hands! So now the sweater sits in Lori’s closet in our “casita” in Cotacachi, waiting for the first really cold winter night in the city of peace.