June Donaldson and Edward Garry live at an altitude of 2,600 metres in Mosoj Llajta, Yotala, 20 minutes from the colonial city of Sucre in Bolivia, South America. Using earth and stones from the land, we have sculpted beautiful buildings which compliment the high desert landscape and incorporate creative and innovative elements of design.

We have designed a high quality hotel in Sucre for guests who want to get off the treadmill of travelling from city to city in South America. At Sky Hacienda you can dictate your own timing and choose how to enjoy your stay, whether it is doing very little or exploring the best that the Andes in Bolivia has to offer.

30 September 2010


Every day a few of our workers arrive from a village up in the mountains ahead of our house. When we asked where it was, exactly, they said it was over the ridge and that it took 15 minutes to walk from there to Sky Hacienda.

Honorato is one of those workers and he invited us to day 2 of his wedding to Luisa last Sunday. Weddings in Bolivia typically last 4 days!

First we went to the church in Yotala - the nearest town to us, where Honorato and Luisa were blessed by the priest during mass.

Bolivia is a catholic country and the church was full of local families.

The priest gave a very political sermon dealing with the issue of water rationing in Yotala while the city of Sucre uses its excess to fill their swimming pools.

Outside the church, the newlyweds greeted each guest by turn, showering them with white confetti.

Then we all piled into minibuses and drove to their village for the party.

The guests sat on wooden planks underneath tarpaulins tied to the side of the groom's parents' house.

After a few toasts to Honorato and Luisa with chicha - a brew of fermented maize - and chuflay - a mix of singani liquor and lemonade - the dancing began. When buckets of both drinks were brought out it signalled the start of some serious alcohol consumption.

We had decided to walk down the mountain to Sky Hacienda, and wanted to be fairly sober, even though it was "only a 15 minute walk". So we pinned money to the clothing of the bride and groom, and said our thank yous and goodbyes.

What we hadn't count on were the lack of paths and swathes of cactus - after 40 minutes we were still at the top of the mountain.

But for the first time we were able to look down on Sky Hacienda - our view showing the house nestling inside the garden walls.

We took photos as we descended.

We scrambled down to the foot of the mountain and enjoyed a different view of Sky Hacienda as
we climbed up to our land.

We were very honoured to have shared the celebrations of Honorato and Luisa that day. We were also impressed by the casual way in which our workers dismissed the walk to and from work each day. For them it was nothing. For us, it was a major hike! We also had a great new picture to head up our blog.

11 September 2010


Once the supporting beams had been installed our roof contractors cut and fitted the panels and the ridge tiles.

Ed started work on making the chimney more efficient and, at the same time, decorative.

Firstly he made zinc flashing around the top of the panels to prevent rain from entering.

We decided on a Gaudi-esque cupola that would allow the wind to suck out the smoke from the chimney.

Ed built it up using stones.

Then he formed the air vents before rendering the whole thing with cement.

Later on we will put on broken ceramic tile to create a mosaic effect.

It already looks pretty good from close up...

... and not too bad bad from a distance, either.

Our workers then cemented under the zinc skirt around the chimney and the panels and tiles to ensure their stability.

Meanwhile Geronimo designs and builds the scaffolding for the huge job of installing the insulation underneath the inside of the roof and then plastering over.

A complicated graduated platform of planks is used just for one of the eight triangular sections of the roof. When each one is completed the whole structure will be moved to the next section.