Provincia del Napo – Ecuador – 2016
Just west of Cotopaxi volcano and north of Quilindaña is the strategic location where the hundred year old hacienda was built. . Originally built by the Incas, this farm has lived multiple life times, it has seen many volcanic eruptions and survived.Time passed all around the hacienda but somehow this place feels untouched, unmarked by the human hand, a place where you feel small and powerless against nature. Isolated in time by a 4 hour car ride to the closest town on a small dirt road , filled with loose rocks, huge puddles of mud, three river crossings and a great 4×4 experience you arrive at El Tambo, where the mythical rodeo takes place.
This activity is not for everyone due to the high level of horsemanship needed to overcome the challenge. The risks are high, the closest hospital is at least 4 hours away, there is no cell phone reception and there is no heli me the hell out of here, so there is no room for big mistakes. The upside is living an experience that will soon become extinct, imagine riding along the side of the Andean Chagras through the highlands, swaps, steep hills, small cliffs, massive cliffs, rivers, the landscape and life and a painful death and also hundred of wild bulls all around you, you will feel the powerful amazing experience at hand.
7pm at night , I received a call from my good friend Alejandro inviting me to this one in a lifetime opportunity. I was thrilled and of course I said yes to the idea but between us, I do not know how to ride a horse and I am very scared of bulls. On the other hand, the idea of taking part in this experience and being able to photograph such an event is unique.I like to think that opportunity won`t be presented to me twice so every time an experience blossoms it’s impossible not to see it through.
It felt the opposite of butterflies in my stomach but in a good way. Next morning everything started with a 5-6 hour car drive to El Tambo. Mythical hacienda known to all chagras and great horsemen in Ecuador due to its unique rodeo. Before Entering the hacienda, Jorge, the patron stops his car and invites us to make a toast for the pachamama, asking for good weather and protection for the days to come.