On Saturday Tim and I took a bus to Otavalo (a town outside of Quito famous for its artesan mercados). We had some serious Christmas shopping we wanted to work on. We got up pretty early but didn’t quite make it on the road when we had planned. Anyway we were on the bus by 8:30. Tim snagged some seats that appeared to have more leg room than the average seats and we were off.
Another passenger boarded the bus and tried to act like he was part of the bus personnel, he put a bag in the overhead rack and offered to put one of our bags above as well. Tim considered it and knowing that all the bag had was a pair of my old sweatpants (in case we stayed the night in Otavalo) he agreed. After he put the bag up he sat down in the aisle across from us. A few minutes later the guy asked Tim what time it was and he replied “8:30.” Tim asked him how long the bus ride to Otovalo was and he asked again for the time. Tim told him again and the dude said the bus should get there in about 2-2 ½ hours. The guy then went up to the front of the bus and when he came back to his seat faked a little trip and dropped about 30 cents in our laps. Real convincing. He tried to pick them up, and Tim just pushed him back and said “espera, espera” (hold on buddy, wait a sec). We collected his change and discretely checked our pockets to make sure everything was in place. Yep. He didn’t get anything off of us. What a sketchball he was though.
Once the bus got out of Quito they put a movie on. We were pretty exicted to see that it was “Home Alone:” very appropriate for getting in the Christmas shopping mood.
We got into Otavalo and spent about 2 hours scooping the wares and making our purchases. There are little stands EVERYWHERE on Saturday in the town. We have some pictures in coppermine of some of the stands. Everything was very colorful. Two hours is about all the shopping we can stand in a stretch (even if it is fun shopping). So we stopped at a little Italian restaurant for lunch and recharged. It didn’t quite fill Tim up, so he bought some bananas from a fruit stand to supplement. We bought a few more gifts and hopped on a bus home (we decided against staying the night). We left feeling pretty good about the number of people we could cross off our Christmas shopping list.