When we got back to Quito from Cuenca Andy had a couple more appointments at the dental clinic where the Dr. Fitted the molds for the permanent teeth and took some more impressions then said he didn't need to see Andy for 5 more days while the lab does its work. We made a quick decision to do a little traveling, so Ani helped us make arrangements to go to Otavalo, where we have been several times, then to Ibarra, where we have never been. The next afternoon we were off to Otavalo and the Hostal La Luna—a place we have stayed several times and is dear to our hearts.
It has been 8 years since we were last there, but little has changed. The lovely Tamara and her husband are still the owners, and their employee Susi is still there. They all remembered our daughter Emily, who stayed there frequently when she lived in Quito. We even had the same room we have stayed in before.
La Luna sits on a mountainside and looks out on a beautiful vista that includes two volcanos and rustic farms.
It is a simple Hostal, but clean, colorful and charming and we love being there. Each room has a small fireplace and in the evening someone comes ands builds a fire to take the chill off the room. There is a small cafe where you can get good, simple food, beer, wine, snacks and play cards in the evening.
The next day we took a taxi into the city of Otavalo where the largest Indigenous Artisan Market in South America is held. It fills a complete city block called "Poncho Plaza" and it never fails to nearly overwhelm me with color and pattern and texture. The Indigenous Otavalenos have become world-famous for their jewelry, weaving, and other arts.
Having been to this market several times in the past, we found what we wanted quickly, then had a lovely lunch, walked and people-watched. The indigenous population are quite beautiful people and most dress in the traditional style. So many people I would loved to have photographed, but it felt too intrusive. I took a few from a distance and from the upstairs window of the restaurant. We wandered through the town and came upon the local market where the residents of Otavalo shop—instead of weavings and silver, the booths had socks and underwear and kitchenwares and, of course, meat and produce.