Today I tagged along with Margaret and her driver for an all day shopping trip up north from Quito.
First stop was Calderon where they specialise in making highly coloured figurines from bread dough or masapan. Reasonably interesting and I guess where Oxfam gets some of its clutter from. A little factoid garnered was that apparently Gap clothes now makes its buttons from nuts, so called wood ivory (see the image)
We then moved onto Otavalo market which must be famous for its tiny people anyone who is 5 foot tall would look big here! Brilliant array of stuff , although how you get to carry hammocks and carpets home is a problem that clearly needs resolving!.
Then onto Cotacachi which is a village devoted to making leather goods all very reasonably priced if you like walking around in dead animal skins, apparently it has been hard hit by the new purchase tax regime.
Finally after lunch we visited Ibarra apparently renowned for its wood carving, they seem to specialize in concave breasts and statues of a mother holding a baby above her head plus various other religious themes.
The images are here:-
and no I didn’t buy anything, as all I could imagine was more trips to the charity shops in a few months time….