Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Peru: Lodge to Lodge Ride

Peru anyone?

Endurance rider Suzy Henderson, from Nevada, wanted to share her extraordinary riding adventure, which came about partly from visiting the Mountain Lodges of Peru's booth at the 2010 AERC convention.

From Suzy:

I just got back from the Galapagos and Peru.

While in Peru, I did the Mountain Lodges of Peru Lodge to Lodge ride. It was great. I LOVE the Andean mountains! I was the only rider, so was free to do more. The Lord truly blessed me! I was gone almost a month, from September 4 to 28, and went to some places like Machu Picchu 3 times and did the hike to Waynapicchu.

I remembered the Lodge ride from 2010 when at the AERC convention, some riders were promoting it.  I called Mountain Lodges of Peru and got all the info; I wanted to do it but didn't get around to it.  This year I decided to go to Galapagos, with a Peru extension. So called Mountain Lodges of Peru, and begged them to get me on the ride on the date I needed. National Geographic had the Lodges booked for a 7 day trip for trekkers. There was no room for me, but I was very flexible in options, and Valerie who works for MLP got me a room and I was in!  

I would see the trekkers when it was time to put the feed bag on, but Antonio, my guide, and I always had our own table as my tour was separate from theirs. I got away with a lot and didn't follow rules, so it would be different with more riders.  

Since I was the only one on this ride, there was just me, my guide, Antonio, who spoke English, and an assistant guide, Ricardo, who took care of the horses. On Day 2, Sebastian the Shaman rode with us to do a ceremony for me at the Andean cross.  The assistant guide Ricardo left us at the end of day 5 and took the horses back. Day 6 we had a porter. Day 7 it was just me and the guide. Antonio was my guide for 7 days; after our hike I think I wore the poor baby out! Ricardo has worked for MLP for 14 years.

We rode horses for 5 days. All the pictures in the gallery link below of the lakes and Andean cross are horse days.

The 6th day we did a 8 mile hike in the rain forest. We had a porter carry our day pack. These guys are fit and awesome! It had rained and was very slick going down, and was all downhill switchbacks. So I picked up some walking sticks, or would have been on my butt more than upright. The swinging bridge reminded me of the one on the Western States Trail.

The 7th day we had the permit to hike Waynapicchu and/or hike around Machu Picchu.

I also took an all day ride to the salt mine and Mara on a privately owned Peruvian Paso the day before my Lodge ride. The guide Fico took me to Salt mine. I called him my trusty Frenchman even though he is Peruvian. He has his own tour business in Peru and Patagonia. He is a kick.

If anyone would like to know more about it or Peru, I would be happy to help them.

I am now thinking of doing a 10 day ride next September, the Masai Mara ride in Kenya, and I wanted to know if anyone else is interested.  I may stay a couple of days at the Sosian ranch, they have horses and camels to ride. Then spend a day or less at a wildlife rehab, the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

Email me if you are interested! hendersuz@yahoo.com

Photos in the gallery are views from Waynapicchu, the hike to Waynapicchu with Machu Picchu below, the hike to the Sungate that is at same height as Waynapicchu and was the original entry by the Incas into Machu  Picchu, the salt mine, and some of the lodges Suzy stayed in.

slide show here:

or link to gallery:

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