losmorris (losmorris) wrote,

The Lazy Dog Inn

We normally don't dedicate a blog entry to a lodging facility but this one is worth an exception. Our initial base camp in the Cordillera Blanca was the Lazy Dog Inn, a mountain eco lodge built and run by a Candadian couple, Diana Morris and Wayne Lamphier. Diana and Wayne use their mountain setting and considerable interpersonal and culinary skills to create an environment conducive to both cozy relaxation and serious outdoor activities. For the most part we chose the outdoor by day and fireplace and game activities by night.

According to their web site “The Lazy Dog Inn is an ecological Bed and Breakfast located in the Peruvian Andes at 12,000 feet above sea level, this beautiful mountain lodge is uniquely situated in the Cordillera Blanca mountain range at the base of the Quebreda Llaca, bordering Huascaran National Park and just 30 minutes from the city of Huaraz.

Close to the Inn, there are more than 20 mountain peaks over 20,000 feet (6,000 meters) for climbing and numerous trails for hiking or trekking, horseback riding and mountain biking. The Inn provides spacious accommodations in 2 adobe cabins or 2 private rooms in the main adobe lodge. Guests enjoy home cooked meals, hot baths or showers, fireplaces, private terraces and stunning vistas with exceptional access to the numerous activities the Cordillera Blanca mountains and region have to offer. In addition, there is wireless internet and an outdoor sauna.”

The setting, nestled in the Cordillera Blanca, is magical. On our first day we were treated to a rainbow - something we NEVER see in Lima - to tempt us to follow through on Diana's many recommendations for daily hikes:

We chose to stay in one of the cabins. The mountain views from the path up to the main house were breath taking -

or maybe it just seemed that way since we were at 12,000 feet and the path was up hill.

Days during the dry season are warm in the sun, cool in the shade and nippy during the night. Our hosts however invested in very comfortable beds and pillows and mounds of warm, cozy blankets:

The in-room fireplace topped the experience perfectly. Each cabin has a wood and kindling bin outside. We built our evening fire with eucalyptus branches and went to sleep with the smell of burning leaves, the crackle of the fire, and a view through the skylight to a sky full of stars.

Mornings come early as the sky fills with light and the skylight serves as a friendly wake up call. We know that breakfast awaits in the main house and are spurred on by a hot shower and cup of coca leaf tea in our cabin. Meals are shared around the community dinner table and plans for the day's activities made with input and insight from our hosts.

Great credit goes to the cooks, Nancy and Rosa, who prepare 3 meals a day for the Inn. Each one includes home grown vegetables, local products and - for lunch and dinner - a home made soup.

We had fortunate timing in our visit. Our neighbors from Lima, Ana Maria and Brian, were staying at the Inn at the same time and are here sharing a moment with our host Diana Morris.

After a first day of acclimating we headed out on a trail recommended by Diana. Numerous trails lead out from the Inn so the setting is very convenient. Here is Richard at the base level of a trail that ultimately took us to 15,000 feet.

Animal life at the Lazy Dog Inn does include a number of dogs as well as a good sized stable of horses. After spending the first day hiking I decided to let a horse do the work on my second day. Riding at the Inn is a process beginning with some time spent bonding with and brushing my new best friend.

And then heading out on the trail for sights of the mountains and surrounding community.

After active days of hiking and riding it was time for a bit of the relaxation part of our stay. This building houses the sauna which was heavenly in soothing sore muscles.

And then we head back to the main house for dinner and wine. Richard and Brian enjoying a glass after a hearty day of clean air and exercise. For the less active the main house is filled with board games, books and music to while away the day.

In the end we bid a fond fairwell to Diana with hopes of returning again some day.

Just a note to interested guests. Get more info by visiting their web site at http://www.thelazydoginn.com/index.htm. Diana and Wayne are actively involved in the local community and offer volunteer opportunities if that appeals to you more than hiking and riding. They are fabulous hosts and the hardest part of staying there is leaving. And, least I forget, there is also a lazy dog......

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