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Dispatch 5 - Pujila
  Ecuador, Paolo, church It sounds a bit redundant but it is not: The next small town is Paolo. Though it is a smaller town than the others in the area the church was not any more diminutive and still the primer building in town. Every town has a slightly different layout and feel.  It is always nice to slow down (from 15km per hour) and take in the ambiance for at least a little while. People pass coming and going from all directions seemingly heading for work, the market, school and who knows where  -- of coarse these trips happen everyday in every town where someone is there to observe the ebb and flow or not. As I loitered in Paolo the "school bus" came bye (right) -- a familiar event taking a different form. Ecuador, Paolo, school bus, student transport
  Ecuador, Pujila, hacienda Beautiful homes - haciendas - are tucked away  in the rural valleys. (left)

The dominate feature from so many places - when the sky is clear is Mt Cotapaxi, elevation 19,388 feet (5,911 m), It is the 2nd highest mountain in Ecuador. It has erupted 50 times since 1738. The 1877 eruption melted snow and ice on the summit, which produced mudflows that traveled 60 miles (100 km) from the volcano. The most recent confirmed eruption of Cotopaxi ended in 1904. The most recent activity was an increase in steam emissions, melting snow, and small earthquakes from 1975-1976.

Ecuador, Pujila, Cotapaxi
  Ecuador, Pujila, public art The next large town is Pujila.  It has a large indigenous population.  The statues at the edge of town reflect the indigenous culture (left) and the tradition of pottery making (right). Ecuador, Pujila, public art
  Ecuador, Pujila, church  Ecuador, Pujila, city hall Ecuador, Pujila, street in historic district Ecuador, Pujila, historic building  
    The old town seem to be a combination of pretty well preserved and well restored.  They are clearly trying to celebrate it. In the old town center the building are painted, the landscaping is trim, traffic has been calmed, the streets and sidewalks are in good repair, there are pedestrian only streets and it is clean.  
  Ecuador, Pujila, central market  Ecuador, Pujila, local residents Ecuador, Pujila, local residents Ecuador, Pujila, local residents  
    It is delightful to stroll around.  And it is ripe for tourism, but we didn't see any others.  Perhaps we were in the wrong season or just ahead of the surge.  
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