Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Mi Casa -- Ride Andes

A couple of the boys...exercise.

Olivia, she showed me around the first day...then she left.
A tranquil corridor that connects the fields.
That´s my house.
That´s my house again, I spend a lot of time walking this corridor.
The house has 2 apartments.  A family of three are my close neighbors; in fact, they walk in without knocking.  This is Mariana and Tais (the cutest little girl on the planet).
Cristian, the husband / farm manager.
Mi Casa.
Don´t ask why i didn´t move the chairs out from in front of the fireplace before taking a picture.
The Tack Room / La Bodega
A shot from my back door.  The "little" white peak on the right is Cotopaxi, an almost 20,000ft active volcano with a glacier resting on top.  Its due to blow at any time, and when it does...
My favorite tool on the farm.
The backyard once you finally make it though the long corridor.  The view of Cotopaxi and the other peak would be furthur to the left.
Mariana and Tais, the prettiest girls in the entire country.
CHAGRA. (Ecuadorian Cowboy).  Cesar and his lasso.
Stephanie came back from a break to rescue me from the confusion.  She stayed for a week finishing up her stint as a Ride Andes volunteer and showing me what to do since there´s heaps of work.  This is her in her sweet plastic bag socks (she had a hole in her rubber boots). I had roommates for a week, since then, I've been living solo.
I live at 10,000ft.  Going up from my house it only gets higher and higher.  A lava flow clogs the river into several lakes.
Most of the highlands are vast open plains that are either rolling or incredibly steep.
Cesar and our horses during a 7 day tour coming to a rest at a nearby hacienda.
Sally, the owner of Ride Andes.  She´s always on the move, so this is about as good of a picture I´ll ever get.  She runs riding tours in Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, and Spain as well.  She's awesome.
Cesar always seems a little lost without his furry chaps.
Running the support truck around crazy places trying to meet up with a tour has its perks.  This day I got grabbed by the owner of the hacienda and shoved into a kitchen closet and fed. Beyond that, I'm usually extremely far out in the Ecuadorian boonies bouncing my head off the ceiling of the Land Rover hoping its doesn't break down while trying to get to places lost in time.
An old lava flow.
Stephanie on a ride on 2 wheels instead of 4 legs.  The equestrian helmet is a good style, and of course the chaps. 
A big gnarley section of this road was straight up from the road in the previous picture, rutty, rocky, and directly into the sun.  I could basically see nothing.  Going slowly, wrestling my way up this hill blind and with a passenger, I came to a hault.  I got off the bike and realized I had stopped just inches in front of 2 horses I never saw. 
This is in my backyard.