Thursday, July 10, 2008


This city is so very interesting. There are street vendors everywhere. There are little stands on every corner almost and in the middle of the block people lay out blankets or sheets of plastic and display items on them, Food of all kinds is sold by street venders but they also sell cell phone minutes and cell phones and umbrellas and pens and jewelry and newspapers and maps and just about anything else you can think of. One minute they may have a display of cell phones and remote controlls for TV's or game joysticks and then it will start to rain and they will bring out umbrellas and scarfs and hats. The food booths sells every thing from hot meat arapas (kind of like a peta bread stuffed with hot meat or whatever) to ice cream and fruit and every thing in between. They are resupplied by two or three wheeled bicycles that bring in supplies. The picture below shows a street vender and a resupply tricycle. You can't see the front of the resupply wagon just the back two wheels but the guy that is resuppling the vendor just rode up as we got there.

Bicycles and motorcycles and horse drawn carts are important for transportation. We have seen them carrying things you would not believe. We saw a motor cycle with 4 or 5 sticks of 1 inch pvc pipe straped to the side sticking out the front and the back of the bike. The pipes were at least 10-12 ft long. The next thing we saw was two motorcyclests working together to carry a floor polisher. Bicycles routinely pass us with push brooms and equipment for street cleaning. Both Bicycles and motorcycles serve as delivery vehicles for all kinds of resturants and local merchants. The guy below is loading up to deliver Hambergers but they also deliver pizza and chinise food and packages, as well as pipe, floor polishers, and whatever else needs to be moved. There are big trucks and major construction projects but there is a whole economy that is very family entrepernurship oriented (how do you like that for a sentence). The bicycles and motorcycles help supply this economy.

Horse drawn carts like the ones below pick up the wood crates and cardboard boxes from the venders and remove them from the area. They compete for space on the streets with the cars and buses and motorcycles. The bicycles have there own paths and watch out when then they are headed toward you with a full load.

The city is remarkably clean. The horse drawn carts provide one part of the garbage/recycle system. There are regular trucks that pick up on the major steets. Businesses and residences have certain days and times that they put garbage out on the street and then a truck and runners come by and pick it up. On the interior streets where regular truck traffic is not a good idea, hand drawn carts do the same job. See below.
Street sweepers sweep the dirt and leaves and debry from the street by hand. You can see them working along the sides of the road even in heavy traffic. People acctually wash and polish the stones outside their building. (That's why the floor polisher). On saturday especailly there are all kinds of business cleaning the tile and stone and sidewalk outside of their buildings.

The pictures below were taken on Sunday as we walked to Church. The city shuts down on Sunday. Most roads are closed to all but emergency traffic and major road ways are turned into bicycle ways so people can ride or push strollers or wheel chairs without any traffic. It is called Cyclevia and it occurs every sunday and on holidays. I stopped on the bridge over one of the main autopistas in the city and took several shots so you could see the city scape. (Remember this is our little part ie 2/12's of 1/4 review the last post for reference)

Below are some glimpses of traffic. Remeber the pictures above were taken on Sunday when traffic is blocked from major roadways.

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