December 31, 2011

DAY 44

Today was a great day. It started out with feeling a little sick and a touch of diarrhea, the best we could figure out is that it may have been from the uncooked mushrooms last night. Inga gave me some immodium tablets and I felt better within an hour.

Furio provided breakfast and then we went out to buy the food for tonight's dinner on the grill.

Furio is picking out the chicken to be grilled this evening.

After taking the food back to the hostal Furio and I went for lunch and stopped for cuy. Afterwards I wanted to explore some of the little gift shops.


The meat is good but the skin is rubbery and chewy, everyone eats the skin too but I left most of it


I really like this and have seen these images as large pieces of ceramic, as framed hand painted prints, and many other forms including on t-shirts.
This is a very popular form of art that I have seen.



During the early afternoon I wanted to find Cafe Arome which is supposed to have excellent coffee and the best chocolate. Furio and I looked around a bit, he asked a couple of people and no luck so we stopped at the first coffee shop we saw. The coffee was better than most places in Ecuador, the typical coffee that is served in Ecuador is instant even though they grow excellent coffee that is organic and fair trade. It seems as though most of the good coffee is for export and not many places have that. The chocolate cake I had with the coffee was excellent though and well worth the stop.




One of the many large dolls that will be burned this night

During the late afternoon Furio grilled the chicken and the rest of us worked on the food prep by cutting vegetables etc... There were five of us having dinner together, Furio, Inga, the French couple François and Clementine, and myself. François cut up the smoked fish that another family here gave us, they had spent the day using the smoker at the hostal smoking fresh fish. It ended up they had too much fish and gave us two of them.

Furio at the grill

François cutting up the smoked fish


After a very good dinner, François and Clementine brought out a very delicious cake they had made, it was chocolate with a little caramel. Excellent cake! It was at this time another couple came into the area who apparently could not make an evening bus into the amazon for the night. Martin and Romy are from Germany and they joined us at the table for cake, conversation and drinks. It was an enjoyable long evening, four or five hours of conversation and eating. There were some celebratory drinks poured and of course a bottle of aquardiente had to be opened to celebrate new friends.

Martin and Romy

The fireworks started around 11:30 so we headed out to the streets that were filled with people and music. There was loud music blasting about every two blocks, people dancing, fireworks as well as some of the ones people were buying on the street to light off.

At midnight people began burning the large dolls in the street, about every two blocks there were large bonfires in the middle of the road and the people could be seen as far as could be seen in each direction down the roads. One of the bonfires had the large smurf doll sitting upright and as soon as it fell over the fireworks that was positioned to shoot up out of his hat, began shooting sideways into the crowd of people.

The large fires were random everywhere and many were close to cars.

It was a wild and crazy night with fire, loud music and dancing in the streets.

At one point a couple stopped me to say they saw me cycling in Quito and the guy wanted to shake my hand. What a coincidence, Quito is a very large city, here I am many miles away and I just happened to be noticed in a large crowd by someone who just happened to see me in Quito.

We made our way back to the hostal and talked for a long time until I realized it was three am. There was a plan for Furio, Inga and myself to go see some of the waterfalls and to meet for breakfast at 9 am. I thought it would be best to get a little sleep tonight.



Martin taking a shot of Aquardiente










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