Today, we set sail towards home. Although we did a lot, there is so much more to do. Al and I will be back. We loved this easy, beautiful island…overrun with chickens and mopeds. We never made it to St. George, but we wouldn’t have given up our horseback ride for the world.
I can now cross “riding on the beach” off my bucket list. Am so glad I waited….what a perfect memory of pink sand and turquoise surf. I love the color palette! Hope I have some paint-worthy photos, altho it wasn’t that kind of trip.
Mike (of Mikes Unique Horse Services)was not what I expected. Where we met was a small stable built into an old quarry. It seemed rather questionable. In fact, our skeptical cab driver wouldn’t even let us out of the car before he went exploring, shouting out Mike’s name…seems like everyone knows everybody. When Mike answered back, the cabby unlocked our doors (no kidding, they were locked) and let us out. He said that he’d be back to pick us up but our one hour ride lasted two hours. Al and I had to hike up to the main road and flag a cab down. We felt very self-sufficient.
But I am getting ahead of my story.
When we got to the stable, Mike was working on a horse, trying to see why he was favoring his rear hoof. He walked him around, put a shoe on that one foot, walked him around some more, swathed the leg in liniment, saddled him, rode him….determined that the horse needed rest. Then he pulled out two others for us. Mine was a paint and Al’s was a palomino. Both were registered quarter horses.
Turns out, Mike has a huge stable down the road someplace where he has a riding academy and trains horses. His horses are all show ring trained for western riding. Turns out Mike has clients all over the world. He was flying out to Columbus Ohio to look at a horse for a client who lives somewhere in New York. As Mikes story slowly unfolded over the two hours, he went to college in the states and majored in art and design. He was also a runner. Was in two Olympic Games for the 800 meter races. He fell in love with horses and is now doing what he is doing…..teaching kids how to ride up to show level and training horses. He taught Al and me a thing or two while we were riding along. Our horses we so well trained, you really didn’t even need reins…only to keep them from eating the grass.
The write up on the Internet said that it was not the usual nose-to-tail trail ride and that is definitely the truth. We meandered through some back roads and neighborhoods and ended up on an old railroad track-turned-hiking trail. Then we went off that trail and onto one of the original roads built in the 1600s. It was a four foot sandy path cut deep into the earth with the tropical plants bending over it. It began to rain as we drew near to the beach. A blessing in disguise as the rain cleared the beach of people. What an experience–surf, sand and just us.
We are going to have to ride more often than once every three years. I swear my legs froze in place. I could barely dismount, much to my embarrassment. There were two little girls and their mother waiting for their lesson when we returned. They enjoyed watching Mike trying to dislodge Al and myself from our saddles. I felt like one of those dolls you buy to go with your horsey toys…all bowlegged.
I wasn’t the only one who mistook my legs for wooden posts. The barn kitty…a little sassy male kitten…also decided they were wooden as he began to scramble up! I was forced to pick him up by his scruff and un-cling him from my thigh before we went in search of a taxi to bring us back to the ship.
This morning, I didn’t feel too bad, but as the afternoon is progressing, I am turning wooden again.
Enough of the boring talk….
Al and I picked up a few more souvenirs before our ship set sail. Then we thought it’d be fun to grab the drink of the day and bring it back to our room to sit on the veranda nook and watch the world sail by. There were two drinks of the day, so we got one of each. (note: this is unusual as Al doesn’t drink as a rule, but we were feeling naughty)
There we were–carrying our two boat drinks back to our nook when someone calls my name. I turn and almost drop them. On our ship…all this time traveling with us were my cousins! I still can’t believe it. My mom had one sister. That one sister had three children, and there were two of them on the same Bermuda cruise! I haven’t seen them for years as we live in California and they live on Long Island and Manhattan Island, respectively. Isn’t that just amazing?
Dinner tonight is going to be wonderful.
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