I haven't been horseback riding since I was a little girl, and even then I always had my dad or an uncle or some other adult helping out. This was so different, especially riding through rough rocky mountainous terrain instead of flat old Essex County.
I had asked Maria from Condor Expeditions to let me know when they had a spot open for one of the horseback riding trips. John is working so he can't come, and I certainly didn't want a trip for one. I received an email on Wednesday afternoon saying that there was a spot available on Thursday; was I still interested? Hmmmm - stay in and mark assignments from my course or spend the day horseback riding? It didn't take long to send back a definite "YES!"
Marcelo, our guide, and his dad picked me up at 9 am and then we went to a hotel to pick up the other two riders, a young couple in their early 20s from Chile who only spoke Spanish. Then it was about a 45 minute drive out of Cordoba on the highway, followed by another 20 minutes of bone jarring driving down dirt 'roads' that were more like ploughed fields than roads. Marcelo spoke very good English; he told me that he had lived just north of London England for four years, working as a personal trainer for the polo horses.
|The very bumpy road to the campground|
We arrived at a campground, closed for the season, that is the homebase for Huellas De Cabalgatas (Horse Tracks). In no time at all, Marcelo had our horses saddled up and we were ready to head out onto the trail. In usual Argentinian fashion, we were leaving at 11:30, while Marcelo's father stayed behind to cook our lunch, which we would return for in about 3 hours. I don't know if I'll ever get used to the late meals. :(
|My horse, Peru, is second from the left.|
It was an awesome ride. We started out on a wide dirt road, accompanied by the campground owner's dog, and then headed onto a narrow path which wound its way up and down the foothills. Several times we crossed a rocky stream, stopping once to let the horses have a good long drink. Other times we had to lean forward in the saddle, holding our hands forward as well, as the horses climbed up steep rocky embankments or lean back as they clambered down the hillside.
|Starting out on a nice wide road....|
Not the Western saddles we are used to back home. Horses stopped for a break, and so did we.
|The horses had a quick roll the dust once we removed the saddles|
Guess they were glad to be rid of us.
After lunch I wandered around the campground, taking a few photos, before it was time to head back to Cordoba. When the girls come to visit me this October, we definitely need to do this again!
|Ready for summer!|
|Thought dad would get a kick out of these 'fence posts.'|