To begin, we are staying at a packed hostal, Hostal Tiana, in Latacunga. There was sleeping room only left on the floor and in bean bags, and people were taking it! Pat and I were definitely lucky to get a bed. We had that wonderful Chugchucara that I was telling you about, and then after bopping and SHOPPING, we got back to the hostal for the BEST hot chocolate that Pat and I have ever had in our whole lives. I´m 100 percent serious. The BEST. We went to bed pretty early, and I woke up really early the next morning...the morning of LA MAMA NEGRA. I have been really good about doing yoga every morning, and I feel amazing. Pat joined me downstairs for some real coffee and we made quick friends with the girls at our table: Emily from Canada along with her traveling partner, also named Emily..also from Canada, and Bar from Israel. Pat and Lou went off early to take photos of the festival, and though we promised to meet up, it was impossible with such crowded streets. I enjoyed the festival with the 2 Emilys, Bar and Jose as our guardian-guide. He is ecuadorian and part owner of the hostal. All of us girls did big ´no nos´ for ecuador...emily wore shorts, the other emily wore a skirt, and i wore a dress. three things that you will NEVER ever ever see in ecuador. so not only were we getting looks for being gringas, but that didnt help us. oh well. we drank beers, walked the street of the festival and then posted up on a cement wall to watch the parade go by. the parade is something that you must participate in, and as my new friend Merick said ¨Mama Negra is not afraid of the swine flu¨ hahaha. People from the parade run up to you with glasses or bottles or huge spoonfuls of this sugarcane liqour..and everyone is drinking it. everyone. there was dancing and singing and dancing and singing. tons of music. it was just amazing. towards the end of the parade, the girls and i decided to join in...dancing along with the parade. I danced with some old ecuadorian men, drank some more sugarcane liqour, and was drenched in sugarcane liqour by the ´witches of la mama negra´. hahaha. all of this was photo documented, so dont worry if you arent quite following what im saying. it took us about an hour to walk 3 blocks through the crowd, but eventually we got back to the resturant pat and i visited yesterday and the 4 of us girls split 2 chugchucaras and two beers. amazing enough, when we were walking home we ran into PAT. she said that she had lost lou HOURS ago, but that she was having a blast. we ALL were having a blast. our group cruised back to the hostal for some rest, which was absolutely necessary. we all exchanged our mama negra stories and laughed and laughed and laughed some more. around 6oclock bar, me, lou and pat headed back out onto the town and stumbled upon this AMAZING group of indian performers in the square...Pat had seen them earlier in the day and had bought two of their cds. wild. when we got there, there was no one in square...afterall, these guys had literally been playing all day. well, bar and i started to dance our asses off and within minutes the square was packed. i smiled so hard that my face hurt and laughed until i almost cried. bar and i were having a blast, and soon patricia joined in too. we bid our farewell to some very drunk ecuadorian spectators, walked around looking for something else fun...only to find barrachos, so we headed back to listen to some more music. this time, i got up and sang. FEVER. within seconds, the square was filled again. i felt like madonna or something...every male and female ecuadorian asking for a photo with me. hahaha. we also got a group shot of the band, pat, bar and i. amazing. heading home, bar couldnt stop talking about how much she enjoyed my music. as soon as we walked into the crowded hostal she told everyone about our experience in the square, and after some games (an israeli card game, CABU and a swedish hand clapping game) i played some music on the guitar. the hostal has amazing acoustics and i had a great audience. all the music made us hungry, so our huge group made our way for some pizza. definitely the most entertaining dinner ive had in a long time...pat swore that she could hear me laughing from blocks and blocks away. ha. bar and i opted out of the nighttime party scene and were in bed by 9. this is where the night went sour. in the bunk next to mine there is a very, very drunk, very very heavy, pretty gross dutch man. and he snores. well, after two hours, i finally got up...shook his bed, tapped his arm...trying to get him to just ROLL OVER. once he had woken up everyone in our dorm, i got out of bed and was poking him with a waterbottle. but he was so stinking drunk, and didnt quite mind that HIS snoring was keeping all of US awake...that he would just snort and then fall back to sleep...and return to his earth shaking snore session. some people had moved downstairs into the courtyard...sleeping on beanbags and hammocks in the freezing cold. i was about to sleep on teh street when lou came to get me and told me to sleep in the internet room on the couch. thank god. atleast i got about 4 hours of sleep. the belgium couple and pat weren´t so lucky...only clocking in about an hour. and guess what....8 am, and that motherfucker is still snoring up a storm. christ almighty. he´s lucky no one smothered him in his sleep. anyways....today we leave for BANOS. Bar is joining our traveling group for a bit, so the 4 of us will be headed for our next great adventure. Bar is a very special person, and I´m glad to have her in our group. With that said, I have yogaed, drank some real coffee....catching up on the internet now and then Bar and I will visit the market for some fruit and granola before heading out of town.
VIVA LATACUNGA. VIVA LA MAMA NEGRA.