Wednesday, February 15, 2006


La Luna

We have stayed at two different places near Otavalo and enjoyed both, but I think we are really partial to La Luna, which is located just outside Otavalo very high up in the mountains. It is rustic and home-y and the setting is so beautiful. It cools off in the evenings and each of the rooms we have stayed in has a fireplace and a young man who works there will come and start a fire for you. This year's heavy rains had made all the wood so wet that fire starting was difficult and once we did get a fire going in our room it filled the room with smoke—not so nice as the crackling little fires we remembered from previous visits.

The main lodge has a nice room with tables and chairs and a fireplace, as well as a lounge area with movies and books.
Outside are hammocks for napping or reading. The views in all directions are spectacular, including two volcanos.

There is a young couple that works at LaLuna. The young man is the one who comes and builds the fires. He also seems to do all kinds of maintenance and gardening. The young woman is sweet and shy and always smiling. She takes your food orders, cleans, calls taxis and seems to work closely with the kitchen staff. We were surprised to learn that she had a baby since we visited in May and she did all her work with the baby on her back. He was a beautiful, little doll baby—all smiles and giggles.

A fixture at LaLuna are the dogs. I think there are four large, gentle dogs. My favorite is "Milky" the big white dog. Emily said she thought he was an Argentine dogo breed. I have found these dogs on the internet and believe she is correct. I found the history of these dogs quite interesting. I was surprised to learn they were bred to hunt and fight. Milky is a gentle, very easy-going dog, that even Cayo likes and Cayo doesn't much like dogs! The folks at La Luna will let you take one or more of the dogs out hiking with you if you want.

They seem quite content to lay around in the sun or play a game of fetch-the-stick with the guests.

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