Emma Taylor

As a forty something mother of 4 I have not ventured far out of the UK for the last 15 years, so it was with some trepidation that I decided to leave home behind and travel to Ecuador with my friend Sarah, to do a riding trek with a group into the Andes. I purposely did not find out too many details about the trip before going (patly through lack of time), so it was a very exciting adventure. Every nights accommodation was different, both in levels of comfort (some with no electricity) and design. But all held a different charm. They ranged from a luxurious Spanis Hacienda to what I can only describe as a bothy in the middle of absolutely nothing! Sally Vergette organised the horses and was our local guide. I always felt we were in capable hands and nothing was too much trouble. She was always happy to try to accommodate different levels of riding and match horse to rider as well as possible. We went over some very high passes around Cotapaxi (about 4000m) and some of the ground was very steep. In these situations you really needed to trust your mount. Forming a bond with your horse was definitley one of the pleasures of the trip. For me another fantastic thing was being so far away and out of touch with phones email etc as it meant that I really did switch off and forget who was doing the school run on which day! I wonder when I can get away again?!