Santa Cruz Trek - Acclimatization on a Horse - Lazy Dog Inn
Our night wasn’t the easiest. It was Jennifer’s first time at altitude and she woke with her pulse racing. We managed to get some sleep and we needed it. We had a big day of horseback riding planned. I told Hisao I wanted to get a photo of Jennifer on a horse with the Andes in the background. He arranged a ride with an incredible place called the Lazy Dog Inn. To get there we took an hour long drive up a windy, rough road through the heart of the countryside. There were few four wheel drive vehicles, instead we rode in a Toyota Corolla, that while not comfortable handled it amazingly well. In fact, the car handled the road better than my stomach did. Poor, tiny farms were flanked by shadily constructed homes all along the road. As we passed houses, the brazen family dogs would chase along the car until we were well past their territory.
The Lazy Dog Inn was run by a Canadian named Dianna, it was an remarkable oasis up in the nestled in the mountains. In addition to providing horseback riding it was a great place to stay if you wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It was constructed in with a modern western flare, incredibly stylish and very eco-friendly. The food and facilities were great. Given it’s altitude it would make a great place to acclimatize and use as a base for day hikes. They grow a lot of their food on the premises and make great efforts to help the local community.
Once there we were asked to prepare and groom the horses ourselves, which was a great way to bond with your horse. Dianna took us out herself and we wandered through a series of small farms, with towering glaciers above, until we reached the perfect vantage point for a photo.
The story continues...