Sunday, June 22th, 2003 – Day 124

Sunday, June 22th, 2003 – Day 124

I was tired and was meant to get up at 8.00am. Did not do so and finally had a shower at 9.00am. I went back to the bus station by foot to get a bus back to Pujili. I knew there was another day to the festival. I did not know exactly what was on, but I said I might as well as everything closes down during Sunday in Ecuador. It was also market day in Pujili. There was a big crows waiting to get on the bus and was lucky to get a seat (bit buses leave every 15 minutes).

When I got there I went around the market for a while, but there were no parades, but I saw many people walking up a side street. I followed them for five minutes until we got to a field. It was an amazing side. About 100 telephone polls (some a lot bigger) were artificially planted in the field. At the top of these polls were various products. Some were man made like pots, basins, clothes. Others were bags of produce like potatoes, corn, carrots, oranges. Others had live sheep, guinea pigs, rabbits, fowl etc. tied to the top. More surprising was the fact that they were all alive. They were in discomfort, tied with rope to these polls with thousands of people looking at them. Bottles of whiskey were also tied up there. At around 11.00am, a traditional parade approached with bands from surrounding areas. They were all dressed as normal with no festival costumes. It was nice and they were all hitting the bottle. Sunday was definately a locals day. The music was the same but very different from yesterday. At around 11.30am, some fireworks went off and hundreds of local lads started rushing up the polls. It seemed the booty at the top of these polls belonged to anyone who got up the polls fasted. Some brought bags with them. It was a great sight and tough work for those two did it. Some of those who got up first threw the gear to the baying crowds below. Others brought bags with them and filled them up. This material as worth money and could be used at home or sold. At first the guys only climbed the polls with man made produce. Later on, they climbed the polls, with animals. This was funny stuff as sheep fell from heights and guinea pigs were thrown from heighs to crowds below. Some lads fell from polls etc. All this was going on with bangers going off and bands playing on a makeshift stage.

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Pujili – Ecuador – Day two of the festival. This was the highest pole with the best goodies on top. It also created the most competition in getting there. These three lads were in the lead. (22-06-2003)

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Pujili – Ecuador – Day two of the festival. This guy wasnt throwing his winnings to the crowd. He wanted a bag to put them into to. (22-06-2003)

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Pujili – Ecuador – Day two of the festival. Five polls and five sheep strapped to them. Some had bags of produce like corna nd bottles of alcohol strapped there as well. (22-06-2003)

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Pujili – Ecuador – Day two of the festival. More sheep. See the guinea pigs tied to the pole to the left. They were just left hanging there. (22-06-2003)

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Pujili – Ecuador – Day two of the festival. An overview of the festival field. (22-06-2003)

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Pujili – Ecuador – Day two of the festival. This guy wanted a sheep to bring home .. and he did. (22-06-2003)

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Pujili – Ecuador – Day two of the festival. For lads going for the same prize. (22-06-2003)

I stayed there until about 2.00pm and went back to the market for an hour. More boozing going on. The locals from surrounding areas which had came earlier to take part in he parade with their village bands had taken position on different corners of town. They were hitting the booze hard and there was lots of music and dancing. The women were as drunk as the men. Watched this for a while. The market here is good with plenty of goods and produce. I did not eat here as they use the worst of meat for soups here in the market. Cows legs, sheeps heads – terrible things to look at. As a farmers son, it is a bit disquieting to see a full cows head complete with horns looking out from a butchers window. Nothing goes to waste here. Every piece of skin and bone is sold and used.

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Pujili – Ecuador – Day two of the festival. For lads going for the same prize. (22-06-2003)

I got a bus back to Latacunga but the town was dead. As it was Sunday, EVERY thing was closed. I went down to the market area to watch the local me play volleyball. This is common in all towns here. I am surprised very few play soccer here. Maybe it is because men of all ages can play volleyball. They are not very good, but they enjoy it. I stayed there an hour watching them lay on three different courts on the main plaza. I did very little the rest of the day. I watched “Total Recall” in Spanish on TV and went to bed after dinner in a local chicken restaurant.