This Sunday, Mary, an Ecuadorian neighbor, Leo and I went to shop at Charapoto. It is about a 20 minute car ride away. It is East of the beach area in an agricultural area. We found out that there is a man who has a white van that carts people back and forth from our area to Charapoto. Now we can check it out. Since it was my first time and Leo’s second time, Mary came with us to show us the ropes and make sure we did not overpay. I loved Charapoto, so typically Ecuadorian. The town closes a couple of streets to cars so the vendors can set up shop down both sides of the streets. We went a bit late, we left home at 9:00. The good part is it was less crowded, but the bad part was that the pickings were slim, especially in the meat and fish area. I prefer to buy my produce, fish, and meat in the open markets. It is fresh. I fell in love with a place like this in Playas. It was open everyday, but this one is only big on Sundays. There is one in Arenales nearer us on the busline on Saturdays, but it is not as big as this one and the produce is better looking in Charapoto. Our friends Jill and Sy have been going there for quite a while, but they have a quad and can get there. Now that we know about the transportation and we have the driver’s phone number, we can go each week. The transportation in the “cab” was $2.00 each way for the two of us.
The shopping area was right beside a park and in front of the local church. Beautiful setting. Mary said that the park has been recently rehabbed and looks much better. I was taking pictures and a man yelled and wanted me to take his picture. He was thrilled that I did.
The shopping is fairly inexpensive compared to the stores and of course fresher. A bag of about 1o tomatoes cost $1.00, a bunch of cilantro $.25, a bag of about 5 heads of garlic $.50, 2 lbs of potatoes $1.50, a bag of onions $1.50, fish 2 lbs $3.50 a lb., 2 lbs of white cheese blocks $2.25 lb. Below is the man slicing the fish and a kid sing to the shoppers.
You can buy just about anything in Charapoto, because they have lots of stores that we did not really explore yet. We tried to buy freshly baked bread, but they were out of it. We were able to buy ice cream cones from a street vendor.
Mary and I had a cone and Leo decided to go Ecuadorian and get his ice cream in a bun.The bun is slightly sweet, but is mostly like a sandwich bun. A lot of people here eat ice cream on the bun. The ice cream was very good. Very soft. It had a few flavors winding through it like vanilla, chocolate, and coconut.
We saw the white van and headed there to go home. We had a good experience seeing a new place to shop, one we liked a lot.
Below is a video of the sights at the market.