Thursday, November 18, 2010

Low gear in Riobamba

On Monday we left Guaranda with the sniffles after much rain to come to Riobamba to wait for the Thursday market in Guamote. Though there still have been plenty of clouds and rain, at least the mornings are dry here. Nonetheless, for the last couple of days the headline for "El Comercio" (#1 national paper) has been about rain and cold for much of the country.

Riobamba turned out to not to be a bad place for us to rest and wait.

Five volcanoes can be seen from Riobamba. With our kind of luck, it has been either rain or heavy clouds. On the morning of our 19.5 wedding anniversary, Chimborazo (the tallest volcano) miraculously made a brief appearance. I did not come to Riobamba for naught.


Riobamba morning skyline.
Riobamba, Ecuador

Our hotel is right across the street from the train station, though the train only runs as a tourist attraction rather than real transportation.

The tracks.
Train Station - Riobamba, Ecuador

There are a couple of restaurants that have vegetarian lunches. We have not had those for a while.

Sun-Ling ready to dig into a tasty potato soup at El Vip Cafe.

El Vip Cafe - Riobamba, Ecuador

Though the town has a number of modern supermarkets, there are still many traditional markets. Wednesday is the secondary market day, with Saturday being the main one.

We bought some honey at a mercado.
Mercado - Riobamba, Ecuador

Hat vendor.
Mercado - Riobamba, Ecuador

Riobamba is a medium sized town with colonial architecture and pleasant parks.

Iglesia de la Loma de Quito.

Riobamba, Ecuador

Montalvo Park.
Riobamba, Ecuador

Catedral de Riobamba.
Riobamba, Ecuador


Susan in Florida said...

I clicked on your link to Riobamba. You're in the middle of Ecuador! Oh my! Did you discuss the crossing into Equador? Any worries after the borders had been closed?
Looking at the photos and reading the narratives, you make traveling look easy. Even when it rains, you just say that it's a nice time to rest.
It's interesting to me that you started out your travels this time reading Walden Pond.
There is a certain amount of patience that is required to be a traveler. I'm not sure I have that. BUT I'm LOVING reading about your travels.

john said...

Yes, there was a post on crossing into Ecuador:

You made some good observations about our traveling style. Traveling is much easier and more relaxing for us now because we are not working.

It's not so easy to be relaxed during a rainy day or extremely slow bus ride when you are burning up a precious vacation day (time and dollars).

Thanks for the comment!

Susan in Florida said...

I do remember that post now that I've reread it. I guess I didn't expect you to go to the center of Ecuador. I thought you'd stay along the border. Not sure why I thought that. So the attempted coup didn't alter your plans other than delaying your entry into Ecuador?
Travelers. Wanderers. I love the blog. Thanks for doing this.

The hat vendor shot was made all the more interesting when I saw the later post of the people in the market wearing those hats. I wonder if the hats also act as RAIN hats. They are not just for beauty--they have a purpose.

john said...


By chance it was raining during the Guamote market. If you take a close look at the photos you will see that some folks put black or white&blue plastic bags over their hats when it rains like this

and this

So, my thought is that the hats are first for style, second for sun, and lastly for rain.