We stumbled upon this cockfight on our way out of Otavalo. We had passed "the venue" earlier, but some guy was charging a cover charge, so we ignored it. On our way back, however, there was no one at the door, and we saw all these guys going in there, and decided to follow. Much to our surprise, it was a cockfight! Filled with locals, mostly men, a few women with front row seats, we made our way to the bleachers and hoped to blend in with the crowd (yeah right!).
I only have good things to say about Ecuadorians -- this is one of the few countries I've traveled in which the people truly made our experiences excel. I was trying to take pictures quietly on my seat, and the people started to tell me to move up so i could get a better shot. Some people on the front rows even moved out of the way for my pics, and as you can see, one of the cock owners posed elegantly for me.
As in any good fight, first the fighters are displayed, drinks are flowing, people are yelling, bets are placed, money is collected, the pot is written on a chalkboard, and the fight begins by each cock owner working up their fighters against each other. Separated corners, a referee gives the green light, the cocks are released, owners stand back, and everyone starts shouting.
Just so you know, both cocks lived, no cock has perished during this act. :)
The best part of the market runs from 6:30 to 10:30 . There are very few gringos around at 6:30 . As the morning progresses more non locals arrive and the atmosphere slowly starts to change . By 11:00 tour busses from Quite start to arrive . Thats when it is time to leave.
So stay overnight in Otavelo and set your alarm for 5:30 . We stayed outside of Otavelo and we were able to take a taxi to the market at say 6:15 am . The food being sold was fascinating . Some gringos were a lot more adventuresome and were eating the guinea pig and other things . There was one large fruit like plant that the locals were
eating , and it seemed quite popular .It was close to the size of a watermellon and people seemed to be picking out the seeds from within the fruit and eating them .
We were not sure what was going on but the locals seemed to know what they wanted.
Well, people who have already visited some of my travel pages will know it. One of my preferred photograph objects are children.
As to me Children always have some spontaneity, they have something innocent over them. It is always pure, honest. If they smile, they really feel happy.
That is why I like to make pictures of local children while travelling.
Staying in Peguche
Our hotel was in Peguche, a small village besides Otavalo. It takes about a small hour to reach Peguche from the centre of Otavalo. And it is easy to find, just follow the train tracks.
As you can see on the picture, the train tracks are in the middle of the street. On this picture you can also see the hotel we stayed in, the Hostel Aye Human, which is run by a Dutch lady (Mike) and her Ecuadorian husband (Waku). And at the other side of the street is the restaurant which is serving delicious dishes.
About 2 km from Peguche you can visit the peguche waterfalls. The great atmosphere, and life music on saturday evening.
The indiginous culture
It was interesting to me how the Otavalenos have held on to their culture while many other indian cultures lost thiers.So I asked my family never ending questions about the Otavalenos. First thing you will notice is their dress. The men will always wear white calf length pants, dark ponchos and rope sandals. They will also wear their hair long and in a braid. Their hair is not to be cut short. The woman wear white blouses and long dark blue skirts, shawls and lots of jewlery. The single women wear their hair in a braid and the shawl around thier shoulders. The married women usually wear their hair up and they have to walk behind their husbands and carry everything.
Also most Otavalenos do not like their picture taken because they believe that when you take their picture, you take thier soul. You might finds some people though that will let you take their picture for a price.