After sleeping in a bit into the morning, we set out for another delicious and inexpensive lunch. After lunch we went shopping at the local market for groceries and extra bath towels for Pete and I. The grocery store we went to first was similar in most ways to an American market, with the exception of the meats section. There, different cow parts abounded – feet, liver, tongue, heart and intestines were all available. There were more cuts of meat to choose from than I’d ever seen before. After buying some veggies, rice, and shrimp for dinner we went across the street to the fresh market. There, huge piles of fruit surrounded us, with vendors teetering on stools to reach the highest items.
We tried a new fruit that had a tough, rubbery skin which, peeled back, revealed the membranous fruit meat. It was a gelatinous texture interrupted but the bright bursting of the seeds between our teeth, delicious and sweet.
After dropping off our goods at the apartment, we set out to meet our contact at Andean Face, Javier, to make the final arrangements for our Cotopaxi summit attempt and to try on our mountaineering boots that we were borrowing. Everything settled, we returned to the apartment and made rice with carrots, onions, garlic, peas, pineapple and shrimp along with some sautéed portobellos with more garlic and onions.
After dinner we settled in for some cards, learning a new local game called ‘quarenta’ courtesy of Marta, Chase’s girlfriend. Time to hit the hay as we’ve got a lot planned for tomorrow!