The afternoon climb continues until we reach our highest
point, 13,000 feet, where we catch sight of our final destination for the day, Bombolí Cloud Forest. Our horses pick their
way through the slippery narrow path until it widens to reveal
a small, rustic house with orchids growing from the roof.
Ecologist Oswaldo Haro and his wife, Mariana, happily greet us with a warm cup
of tea. The couple bought the abandoned house 35 years ago on 500 acres with the
intention of preserving the diverse ecosystems. They still remain without electricity,
run a small dairy farm and take in tourists interested in learning more about the area.
After a home cooked meal, we retire to our beds, which are thoughtfully
equipped with hot water bottles to help soothe aching muscles from the day’s ride.
After a morning walking tour with Oswaldo, in which we learn the names of the
surrounding flora and fauna, we say our goodbyes and mount up to head back
down to the Machiachi valley. The air is damp and wet with thick fog.
We dismount to take a small hike through the forest to a charming waterfall.
Potato fields spot the mountainsides as we descend into the valley and head back
to the hacienda to rest up for tomorrow’s journey.
produce at the
market in Aloag.