I was lucky enough to end up at Echo Valley Ranch for work purposes. I'd been given the heads up that EVR had a special 'feel' to it that was hard to describe and could only be experienced first hand. Boy was that true.
From the moment we arrived to the day we left, we were taken care of, not only by the lovely staff, but by the owners themselves (Nan & Norm Dove). The personal touches (they lent us their own cowboy hats to go riding so we'd 'look the part') and genuine interest they took in all the guests was outstanding. And don't get me started on the 8 'shadows' (aka collie dogs) that trailed along unassumingly behind guests, tails wagging ... staying out of your way but happy to get in there for a good cuddle if wanted. Hello Echo Valley Ranch - goodbye stress!
We went panning for gold with Darrel (stunning scenery), riding with Tanja, Thai stretching with Jaranya ... we enjoyed top notch cuisine courtesty of Chef Jason. And capped the night off with some wonderful live music courtesy of Canadian folk artists Darrel & Saskia.
Neat back story on the East meets West connection at this gorgeous ranch: one of the main buildings was designed by the architect who built for the Thai royal family (get Norm to tell you how that all unfolded!) Nan is a genuine lover of animals ... whether it's horses, cats, dogs. They follow her around like Snow White. Oh and the stars! Don't let me forget the stars. Laying on my back near the runway (yes, a private runway) looking up at the clearest, brightest stars I have ever seen was nearly an out of body experience. Zero light/noise pollution - I felt I could reach my arm up and touch one.
35 horses, 8 collie dogs, 160 acres and 2 people who love what they do and are dedicated to making sure others have a lovely experience. It's totally magical.
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