Chota

Chota

Saturday, 8 January 2011

{tales from the centre of the world}

I am back in snowy snowy Alfred after a wonderful holiday in Ecuador. There are many tales to tell...far too many for one blog post, so stay tuned for various anecdotes, stories, adventures & customs from my trip to Quito.
Highlights? Well there are many. First off, spending time with my sis, Esther and hanging out with her, her husband, my niece the ever enthusiastic Maria Leticia, & my dear nephew, baby Juan de Dios.
{Esther & Me on a girl's date (with the exception of baby Juan) at a fabulous restaurant in Cumbaya}
  
{me, Esther, Juan & Maria Leticia at the neighbourhood secret friend gift exchange}
Not living in the same city as any of my sisters means that just being able to sit & chat for hours with your sister feels like a luxury. Waking up every morning, having gurham chai with my dear sister, and hearing my little niece wake up and shout "tia leah" was surely a highlight.
Ecuadorian Christmas traditions were also pretty cool...learning and singing Ecuadorian Christmas carols and meeting all of my sister's neighbours for the Novena was really neat.
{novena}

I also enjoyed all the fun Christmas stuff: getting a tree, trimming the tree, decorating Christmas cookies, hanging up stockings, plenty of yummy food etc.. etc..

{getting the christmas tree from a local shop}


{cookie decorating!}
The tradition of bringing in the new year with the destruction of the old...the burning of an effigy or 'ano viejo' on New Year's Eve was also rather interesting.

{selling ano viejos on the street}

{our ano viejo}

{poor guy}
Another highlight was all our daytrips. We drove to some fantastic places...On Christmas Day, we travelled to the sanctuary of the Virgin of Schoenstatt:
We also visited a variety of beautiful old haciendas converted into restaurants or hotels:



We enjoyed beautiful views of Quito:


We went shopping...

{shopping in Otavalo}

and we enjoyed plenty of yummy food. I do believe that I consumed at least 3 boxes worth of Ecuadorian truffles, and ate about 3 times I normally do...but surprisingly, I came home and weighed 5 pounds less than when I left. Perhaps high altitude = minimal weight gain? I seriously should get to Quito more often!


{yum ceviche!!}


{Ecuador has some of the best fruit & some of the most interesting foods you can't find anywhere else}

{Christmas dinner lamb}
There's loads more to tell & many more pictures, so stay tuned!

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