We arrived at the Hacienda Pinsaqui a little early so following Fausto’s suggestion we checked our luggage and we left for the animal market. Lucky for us Fausto was still at the Hacienda and he offered to drive us to the market. We arrived at the animal market in just ten minutes. Thanking Fausto, we exited the car and headed into the market. Pigs, Rabbits, Chickens, Dogs, Cats, Ducks, Turkeys and Cows were on display and for sell. It was very interesting. I saw some women feeling Chickens and then shaking their heads and hands at the vendor. I could only guess that the Chickens were skinny and she wanted a plump Chicken. This was very exciting but soon we were identified as tourist and we were being approached by vendors trying to sell their products.
Exiting the animal market we started heading into the heart of the city of Otavalo. We walked along the street lined with vendors selling their items. Hats, Sweaters, Scarfs, and lots of jewelry along with unique items were being offered for sell. We passed through the food market following Fausto’s suggestion and were amazed at the variety and abundance of available food products. Before passing the church at the center of the city we stopped in for a short visit just one prayer. After our prayer we took some pictures and then thanked God for our ability to visit such a beautiful country.
As soon as we left the church we were back in the market. However, this time we headed left so we found ourselves in the craft market. What a fantastic adventure. At first it seems a little like some kind of flea market but very soon you realize that the vendors are here to support their families. After checking multiple booths it becomes much easier to differentiate the items that are mass-produced from the items that are hand-made by the vendor. I am sorry to say that most items tend to be mass-produced. Marti felt that small booths with just one item were more original but I noticed that some small booths were part of a vendors marketing strategy. What I mean is that some vendors may have four or more small booths that give the impression they are only running one booth.
We selected some items and were very lucky to purchase them at the first price quoted by the seller. Please let me explain this statement. Marti was impressed by an item that was offered by a vendor. After a careful review of not only the item but her list of people we plan to surprise with mementos from Ecuador she choose three similar items. The vendor first stated that he wanted $7.00 for each item. Marti countered with the fact that she wanted three items and there should be a price break for a purchase of multiple items. The vendor thought for a moment and after doing some math in his head offered to sell all three items for just $23.00. Marti countered with an offer of $20.00 for the three items. After some more discussion they agreed on the purchase of all three items for just $21.00. I was so happy that she felt she got such a better deal. You could see the smile on her face all the way back to the USA. Just think without her tough negotiation we would have had to pay $7.00 each but instead we got three for $21.00. After that I suggested she may not want to bargain but instead just pay what is asked in the first place.