While in Quito we decided to go for a few relaxing days surrounded by nature in an Eco-friendly lodge near the volcano Cotopaxi, our initial idea of relaxation suffered a big twist of faith and very soon we realized that this was going to be an activity intense stay .
The trip was very smooth through all the Panamericana (its supposed to be the highway that crosses most of the south and central american countries, with the exception that sometimes it disappears from the map and the other times its just another dust road used by tractors), until we arrived to Machachi and finally started our way up on the basalt and sometimes mud roads before arriving to a place where cows, horses and lamas coexist.
Our arrival to the lodge was very welcomed by the few volunteers working there. They very quickly made us feel at home before serving us a tasty lunch consisting of a big soup made of ingredients that are grown in the farm just two steps from the main entrance, in fact all the meals served there are made of ingredients that are biologically grown in the farm outside.
Soon after the meal Carolina, one of our hosts, proposed that we go for a little walk to check the surroundings, she insisted that we take rubber boots because we would need to cross a few little rivers before arriving to some waterfalls.
After an energizing breakfast we went in direction of the snow-capped volcano. The jeep carrying mountain bikes on the roof, took us up to the base of the volcano, where the road ends, from there on we had to make it on our own.
We got back to the jeep where we picked up the mountain bikes, that where lacking maintenance, and started our way downhill. The breaks where not in the best of condition, and the freezing cold wind almost made me loose sense in my finger tips (even with gloves), but fortunately everybody made it safe to the bottom of the volcano.
tried it in Cuba, but these horses where a lot more fit than the tiny and slim Cuban ones, and this time we had the chance of really riding the horse in the open (instead of following a marked path and the horse answering to the bell of the horse owner, as it was in Cuba).
The way back was mostly done in silence, sometimes letting the horse run freely down the path. Great sensation.