Sundarrajk's Weblog

Archive for the ‘Ambato’ Category

This weekend we went to the city of Ambato. It is a city which is about 120 KM south of Quito. It is known for its leather goods. There seems to be some kind of small scale leather industry in the area. The city itself is a relatively big city.
We hired a school van for the trip. The day was clear and on the way one had a very clear view of the Cotapaxi and the other snow covered peaks around Quito. Could not get very good shots of these as we were traveling. Next time I should ensure that I stop the vehicle and get down to click a landscape of the three snow clad peaks. If got right it should be a wonderful shot.


The weather was fine and the day pleasant. At around 11:30 we reached a place about 30 KM away from Ambato and took a short rest room break. We were glad that we would be reaching the place at around 1:00 PM to give ourselves enough time with shopping.
Some sights at the place where we took the break.

The ladies in our group (Anandita, Nidhi, Sujatha and Aruna)

The restaurant were we took the restroom break

But it was not to be. Fate and Ecuadorian police ensured that that did not happen. Almost as soon as we were off after the rest room break we found the police blocking the highway and asking the people to take a detour. Like all others we took a detour and we started descending into the valley instead of proceeding along the hills to Ambato. After a few kilometers which meant about 20 minutes we realized that we are going nowhere near where we wanted to go and found many others had realized the same and were turning back. After some contemplation and after some inquiries we also turned back. Turning back was a mean task as it was just a two lane highway with space just for two cars to pass side by side without each others side view mirrors touching and making an U Turn on this road when driving a van was not very easy. But we made it and were going back the same way we came in. But the plus point of this was that we got to see a lot of Ecuadorian country side and I was busy clicking lots of photographs.
Soon we reached the point where we were made to take a detour to find that the police had removed the detour. There is a long queue of vehicles trying to get through the toll booth. After some wait we got back onto the highway and that after paying the toll. We had lost an hour in the process, but were still OK as we thought we would be there by at least 2:00 PM.
But once again fate conspired with the Ecuadorian police. Another detour setup by the police sent us on a dirt track, much narrower and dustier than the earlier one we had taken and we were off to see more of the Ecuadorian country side. And to add to our woes the police had decided to send buses also through the same route and we found ourselves blocked a queue of buses coming from the other direction.
So it turned out to be a long wait and endless traffic before we were back on our way to Ambato.
Some photographs clicked in the detour

One can find many such half completed houses in the country side. Probably because of running out of funds.

Cactus flower

A donkey that we sighted during the detour

A child peeking out from the vehicle in front when waiting for the traffic to clear

The wires a feature of Ecuador. In cities and in the country side one can find wires strung all along the way.

Finally we reached Ambato by 3:30 – 3:45. By this time people were hungry and wanted a lunch break. So after some lunch (but the lunch as Ali’s was worth it, maybe it tasted great because of the exhaustion) The decor was good and the food was not bad but the price was a little steep.
After lunch we went up the hill where the traders sold the leather goods. At stalls are in front of a Church and they were having some kind of festival in the Church that day and so there was a crowd and there was a parade with people on horseback going round in front of the Church.
The traders sell mainly leather jackets and handbags. The prices are decent and once can bargain further if one is good at it. It is much cheaper than what one can find in the regular shops. There are other knick-knacks made out of leather too.
After spending all the money that we could we came down a little bit and shopped for leather footwear, shoes and the lot. There are many shops along the road selling these.
Decor at Ali’s where we had lunch

One of the child (Anurag Bose) in our group

Near the Church

Shopping for Leather Jackets

Festivities around the Church

Festivities around the Church

Festivities around the Church

The Church

Other Knick Knacks

The congregation on the way to the Church

The congregation on the way to the Church

The congregation on the way to the Church

The congregation on the way to the Church

Nishant a boy from our group.

On the entrance of the Church

By the time people were finished the sun had set and we set off back to Quito. On the climb down we had a good aerial view of the city of Ambato and that is when we realized how big a city it is.
Aerial view of Ambato at night

Citylights of Ambato

Citylights of Ambato

The return journey was relatively uneventful and there were no further detours forcing us into the Ecuadorian countryside.
We reached Quito by 10:30 – 11:00 and after a small dinner hit our beds.