The final Galapagos Fiestas day was held last Sunday at the rodeo grounds in the highland town of Bellavista, approximately a 15-minute cab ride from Puerto Ayora. I arrived at 10:30am thinking the celebrations would be well underway (the program said the festivities were starting at 9am), but in true Ecuadorian fashion, the vendors were just beginning to setup their stalls. While sitting and observing as people slowly started arriving, I met two sisters, Lizbeth and Lizette. They were intrigued by my camera, so I showed them the photos I was taking. Their mom was selling grilled chourizo on a stick with mayonnaise and drinks. Lizbeth gave me a piece to try, so I bought one and had an early lunch.
After we ate, Lizbeth and Lizette asked me to join them to go see the cows and pigs. It reminded me of a mini 4-H fair. The cows, bulls and pigs were displayed in anticipation of the judging that would take place later on. The sisters were very excited to see the farm animals. Lizbeth and Lizette are from Puerto Ayora, which is considered more of a little city by Galapagos standards. It is the most populated town in the Galapagos with approximately 15,000-19,000 people. We saw all types of cows – large, small, black with spots, solid brown and brown with spots. The pigs were large and pink.
Some of the fruits and vegetables sold in the Galapagos markets are locally grown, but most arrive by boat from the mainland. The watermelons from Bellavista are juicy, sweet and especially delicious. Many stands were selling the locally grown watermelon, coffee, peanuts and coconuts. The coconuts are sold for the fresh coconut juice inside. They are served peeled and chilled with a straw poking out of the top of the coconut. Of course, I had a slice of watermelon and could not resist the chilled coconut juice served in its homegrown container. The peanuts are sold in a variety of ways, dangling like ornaments from the peanut plant, bagged and still in their shell or shelled.
I skipped the 3pm rodeo, as I had already seen it in 2005. It was fun to partake in the festivities on the final day of the Galapagos Fiestas. I enjoyed tasting some of the locally grown produce and seeing the many families enjoy the music, food and lively atmosphere.