Our last days in Colombia were relatively tranquil but fast-paced. We stopped in Pasto for one night and, apart from seeing an abundance of churches, we didn’t do much. Our main goal here was to exchange our Colombian pesos into dollars. This, of course, went completely “smoothly”. We got a fairly good exchange rate, however, since people here predominantly go to Ecuador to work and then change dollars to pesos, also they didn’t expect to get that large of an amount from us three, the exchange office..well, they ran out of money for us. So we had to come back the next day.We later took a short bus to Ipiales, a point that everyone crossing the border has to go through. The place is mostly known for Los Lajos Sanctuary, a beautiful gothic church in a river valley just a short bus ride away from the actual town. The scenery reminded me abit of Europe for some reason, might be due to the chilliness in the air that the south of Colombia carries.
The first stop we made was in Otavalo, a small city that’s famous for its artisenal market. Various colourful llama wool blankets, jackets, pants, bracelets, rings, basically anything your little heart desires. However, the best thing we found wasn’t clothes or jewellery. It was breakfast. We got eggs, bread with cheese, juice, tea and…chicken with rice and killer roasted potatoes. Not sure if that’s a standard breakfast everywhere across Ecuador, but for someone who eats like a hobbit (minimum 4 different dishes to start the day), this was heavenly.
But markets aren’t really what we’re looking for in Ecuador. We seek to find waterfalls, hikes, volcanoes and that one particular swing attached to a treehouse at the end of the world. So without wasting too much time, we’re heading to Quito to get closer to Baños, which is where all the adventure awaits.