It somehow reveals you the spirit and atmosphere of the place as well as the way people are living their daily lives.
Organized tours are OK but they only show you the sights people would like you to see and that makes you just a tourist, not a traveler.
Or, to quote G.K. Chesterton, : "The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see"
Markets here are fantastic places to discover. There are so many products I've never seen before a and when you ask people about their origin and use they are friendly and very proud about the interest shown.
Usually I go with my shopping list and then end up often with some totally different products, but it's great fun to learn something new about the local cuisine and sometimes other shoppers even passed on some their favorite recipes.
At this market stall I found an incredible variety of potatoes in different shapes and colors: yellow, purple, pink... side by side with purple corn. What looks like harmless Capsicum at the right side of the picture is a devilishly hot chili called "Rocoto".
Between the apples and oranges you can see gorgeous Chirimoyas, great for light desserts and juices.
Exotic fruits and peeled Grenadines, ready to be prepared in fresh juice or for decorating, laying side by side with apples and raspberries.
An old man, selling traditional medicinal herbs like Lanten (a great anti-inflammatory ), Coca leaves (excellent for altitude sickness. It's also used as a mild anesthetic and to damp excessive appetite), Eucalyptus ( for respiratory problems and influenza) and many others which I still need to investigate.
More about it in one of my next posts.
At the end of the day we went to a beach restaurant where we tried a delightful " Pulpo al Olivar" or Octopus with Olive Mayonnaise.
And encountered "The Three Graces" enjoying the sunset under their colorful umbrellas.
Have a great week ahead,see you next Tuesday!