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all about riobamba

I arrive in Riobamba ready for a ‘city break’ and all it can offer: a hot shower, somewhere to wash my clothes, a chance to dry everything out properly, a bit more culinary variety than is available in the tiny communities I’ve been passing through since I left Tumbaco and the possibility, perhaps, of a conversation in English.

Colonial.

+ Modernist.

Calm gardens.

+ Busy streets.

There is, as everywhere in Ecuador, an intriguing mix of indigenous and mestizo culture. Women in traditional costumes are everywhere with their various burdens casually slung on their backs.

Riobamba clearly had a glorious past. The building on the other side of street is an old theatre, the grace and beauty of which I have failed to adequately capture. It seems completely abandoned apart from MovieStar, the mobile phone vendor on the ground floor.

This little piggy goes to market...

...but s/he's never going to get admission to the mall. The mall, unfortunately, is one of the only places you can get a decent cup of coffee. (I didn't realise I was such a coffee addict - every Ecuador post has a reference to coffee and all of them bemoaning the state of it.)

There are dancing girls in the street:..

...and I really do have to wonder how they do it in those shoes on cobble stones...

...but the crowd looks on impassively, clearly not sharing my amazement.

And Mary is watching over it all, bless her bleeding, flaming heart.

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