Riding through the Andes

After a few days of hectic activity in the “Casa Wander” it was finally time: the ride could begin. Our experienced tour guides Betty and Christoph had everything needed organized and the team was ready.

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The first morning we drove by car to Danillo, the Gaucho and very good friend of our hosts. Together with his son and his well-trained horses and stubborn mules, we went in the direction of the Andean valleys. We rode through forests, fields and villages and at the end of the day, a beautiful resting place waited for us, where the horses were fed and we cooked dinner together.

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The following day we had a mesmerizing clash with civilization, as we had to ride two hours through a dam construction site. We were able to experience first hand what needs to be sacrificed for our domestic comfort. But all the more beautiful nature presented itself again in the afternoon of the day, when we went in direction of a pass and then later, after the obligatory mate tea tea, spent the night on a magical forest glade.

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The next morning our trusty horses climbed, breezing heavily, the remaining meters of the pass and at the highest point there first was an extensive photo session before we came down on foot into the lonely Melado Valley.

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Now we rode for hours along the river, deeper and deeper into the valley. The area was beautiful, a green valley with the snow-capped Andean peaks in the background, and we could easily forget our aching inner thighs and buttocks. At the end of the day, we had to ford the river, which meant, especially with my small “Pepino”, wet feet. But the usual camp fire warmed us up again.

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On the (unfortunately) last day we went again high into the mountains, on another pass, where we enjoyed the fantastic views of the surrounding Andean peaks, while the condors were circling above our heads. The last 200 photos were shot and the eight of us went back to civilization in a jeep.

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