Mountains always fascinate me – isolation and high altitudes bring a different perspective on life and allow the brain to recalibrate. On a recent trip to Ecuador, we stayed at Hacienda Zuleta, a working farm known for its condor rehabilitation centre and homemade cheeses. The Andean condors are endangered and super ugly (imagine a Mafioso turkey) We spent days riding the Zuleta horses along trails though the stunning scenery, occasionally spotting a condor soaring, breathing in clean Andean air to return to excellent food and wine at the hacienda… what’s not to like? It’s also the perfect place for gift shopping. Local markets sell beautiful hand-woven scarves and blankets made from super soft alpaca wool dyed in amazing colours. I bought so many I had to buy an extra bag to bring them home. So, a tip – arm yourself with lots of cash and luggage space for all your purchases. Also, be prepared for lots of soup! Ecuadorians cannot imagine a meal without soup, it’s always on the menu. Mountain evenings are always cool, we loved relaxing in front of the blazing fire, a small glass of port and then an early night. I think I had the best sleep of my life on this trip. I’ll be back!


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