This is the lady that I have been talking about.
In Banos, for Sabado Santos (Easter Weekend) some of the Ecuadorians to a pilgrimage walk from Ambato to Banos, 38 km or so. The police shut down the highway for the night and people just start walking. You have to go to Ambato before 4:30 pm and just start walking. There are thousands of people who walk, from all ages. I have seen people with strollers, teenagers partying with boom boxes, old people with no shoes etc. It is amazing.
Along the way there are little kiosks selling food and water and they are the major light sources along the way. Lights along the long snake of endless people. There is Pelileo a city between Ambato and Banos and that is really cracking with business to help the walkers. But for the most part nothing but the night sky and just thousands of people walking quickly to Banos.
When they get to Banos they go to mass in the church, visit the Virgin and sleep where ever they can. As they have walked for at least 6 hours if they cheated and started in Pelileo or more if they started in Ambato they are tired and they just crash. There will be people sleeping in the parks in doorways etc, anywhere it is dry. And the next morning they might have breakfast or just get on the next bus to where they need to go next. Such resilience and devotion, you just do see that that often anymore, unless you live in places like this.
I have done this now 4-5 times. This was only the second time that I have not done it. I missed it on my first year of being here, and this year because the weather was so bad that I didn't walk enough, I thought to harden up my feet enough in preparation. The first year that I walked I had 7 blisters on EACH foot.
So that meant that this year I would be able to go around to take photos of the walkers.
This picture is exactly what I mean when you do the walk, you are so tired but you are also so connected... This little lady was probably only just over 4 ft tall, and had done the walk. She was enjoying the experience and morning sun. She was enjoying her accomplishment, her devotion and the simple pleasures of life a warm sun on her shoulders.
I am now looking to do the Loja and Quito walks. If you have more information about those please let me know. I would love to participate in those walks too.
This was done on water color paper with colored pencils
Enjoy the small pleasures in life, like fresh air and the warm sun on your shoulders.