We woke up this morning to some God awful weather! Hard rain and fog so thick we couldn’t see across the Beagle Channel to Chile. Oh well, what to do a with ourselves today?
I headed down to breakfast at about 9:30 to join Leslie and while we sat in the dining room the rain stopped and the sun started to peep out and we became very optimistic about the day.
After breakfast we asked the concierge about some options for the day and because we got up so late we missed out on a few things for today so scheduled these activities for tomorrow instead and for today Leslie opted for going into town (what I did yesterday) and I opted for horseback riding! Four hours for U.S. $100, not bad! Horseback riding at ‘the end of the world’ for $25 per hour!
Initially I wasn’t going to go as I had to pull myself together in about 10 minutes and I was a bit worried about being on some of these mountains for four hours as I thought I would be very sore and probably the weakest rider of the group as this is ‘gaucho’ country! Leslie encouraged me to go, though, and I am glad she did as I had a great time!
When I arrived at the stables I discovered that I would be riding with five other people who all just happened to be from the Southeast corner of the U.S.! Atlanta, Nashville, and Charlotte, N.C.! They all knew each other and, over time, have fallen into a pattern of taking a big trip together every year. This year was obviously Patagonia! The first time any of them have every been on a horse has been during this trip.
We headed out of the stables and over a steep ridge and began to understand our horses. Because of the rain last night many of them were not too happy about the route as the ground was very muddy and sloppy! My horse, Prat, didn’t like water at all and tried to refuse at pretty much any puddle which was quite problematic during the excursion, but he was sure footed and he rarely slipped on any of the slopes which I appreciated as I took a very bad fall off of a horse in Mexico about two years ago!
None of my companions seemed to have any fear of being on a horse or by the slippery terrain which was good! I guess you don’t know fear, or how dangerous riding can be, until something happens! For instance, one guy, Stanley, totally let his horse do whatever it wanted and he (Stanley) was hard of hearing so never heard us tell him to lean back on the descents to help counterbalance the horse and he was sliding down all these hills and didn’t seem to have a worry in the world! He was also taking a lot of pictures and would just let the reins lay on the horse’s neck while he used his camera! Nothing happened, though, so it all worked out okay!
On our return to the stable, the clouds started to return and just as we were arriving back the wind and rain started to set in again! We were very lucky!
At the stables, there was a misfortunate group just heading out at this time which wouldn’t be very pleasant in the rain as it would just make the ground all the more slick so we were very lucky!
One girl from this group was only just walking her horse out of the paddock area when she started screaming for some reason and began flapping her legs and flinging the reins and naturally the horse was none too happy about this and started to get a bit agitated and trot and side step and she ended up falling off! Not a good start!
Now I am back at the hotel, enjoying a nice glass of Malbec! It was a great afternoon!