Hotel El Indio. January 6 to January 11, 2009
Fausto, our driver from Quito, showed us 4 or 5 hotels and we chose this gem a block from the Plaza de Ponchos. We used the nearby internet cafe, had large windows with lovely views and our own private patio off of our room. A room with 3 beds and private bathroom cost us $40/nt total, no breakfast or internet included. Great room, great price. There is another hotel in town, Hotel El Indio Inn, that is rated higher than this one, with internet, but none of their rooms had windows facing the outside, only an interior courtyard. This place was a much better value.
The hotel appeared to be owned and operated by a family, and the side entrance was turned into a lingerie shop. This is the wife selling some of their popular underwear.
Janet buying some of the goods from the daughter. I bought some, too, friendly service and good prices:-)
The second floor was where the owner's family lived. We had a room on the 3rd floor, a healthful walk up the stairs. We didn't see any elevators in Otavalo.
Janet unpacking. The clear surface on the right was soon covered with my luggage and stuff and not seen again until we checked out 5 days later. Our patio was through the red curtains.
The Lonely Planet guide book accurately described the decor as "inadvertent 1970's mod ambience". The mural.. well.. it was a one of a kind work of art.
The bathroom and bedroom were very clean, just a bit quirky. Never did figure out how to get hot water out of the sink, only the shower reliably delivered hot water.
Working on a nearby roof.
Nighttime in our room. We had cable TV with English speaking channels from the States.
This lobby was an important extension of family life, meals were taken here, babies fed or nursed, dogs and friends hanging out and watching TV, all the usual activities of a private living room. We enjoyed walking through this public place on the way to our rooms with a friendly buenos tardes from everyone. I shot this photo from my hip, I didn't want them to see me photographing them eating...
Living was casual, but there was always someone around to answer our questions, hold our purchases if we didn't want to take them upstairs, and offer a friendly smile. It was so casual I only gave them my first name at checkin, no passport or last name was ever requested and it was fine to stay on a day to day basis and pay at the end.
There were plenty of empty seats, these 2 men just liked to be close. They may have been brothers or cousins. Another hip shot, I accidentally cut off their heads.
The roosters were very vocal right outside our window every morning. Janet could only take it for so long without a good long night's sleep, and this is the rooster that drove her...
To get her own room facing a different, quieter street. This room was $10 per night, complete with private bathroom
The owner of our hotel, walking in the market. This is typical dress for men of the region. Ian dubbed him the great white hunter :-)