Part 3: Day ?: Trip to Ometepe Island - Horse Trip

We walked back to Hari's, the kids soaked to the skin and the adults full and satisfied, and prepared for the horse trip. In hindsight, I wish I had prepared by stuffing a pillow down my pants (the back, not the front!). It would have made for a more comfy ride.

Warning: When the website says wear long pants, wear long pants. I thought my little 3/4 length shorts/pants things would suffice. Not so much. The bottom part of the saddle (for which I'm sure there is a more official name other than "the bottom part of the saddle) rubbed the hair off the inside of my calves while the jungle we rode through part of the way scratched the crud out of the outside of my legs. Lesson learn. (Oh...NEVER ride a mechanical bull at Gilley's in Vegas with shorts either. Holy cow, that chafes!)

It was time to ride and Hari gave us the waivers we had to sign and then did his 30-minute safety briefing. ....Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Have you NOT been paying attention?? We're in Nicaragua, not Washington, IL.  They don't give a crud here if you do stupid stuff and kill yourself. THEY understand true freedom! 

"Have any of you ever ridden a horse," Hari asked.
"Do you mean OTHER than Cinderella's horse on the big carousel at Disney World?" I replied.
"Really? It's gonna be like this?" Hari asked.
"Tell him to shut his pie hole," directed Polly, used to such asinine demonstrations on my part.

Anyway, Hari and his helpers got us all on our horses. Annie was both terrified and ecstatic at the same time. Her horse's name was Poco. I kept a close eye on her because, although I do want her to become stronger and more independent, there was SOME concern that she was sitting on 1500 lbs of horse and before that, the only horse she had ridden was the poor little pony chained to a big wagon-wheel looking thing at Tanner's Apple Orchard back home. 

I gave ol' Poco the evil eye, warning him not to hurt my little girl. "I got 4 words for you, fabrica de pegamento!" Even with my bad Spanish, HE knew what I was talking about and we had no problems that day!

Hari gave us our 2-minute riding lesson. "Pull right to go right. Pull left to go left. Pull back to stop. Don't fall off. Let's go."  Perfect.

And off we went. 

Horses are peculiar animals, set in their ways. My horse liked to be first, which was good because then Hari could ride back and forth and check on everyone. I was actually doing pretty well, chafed legs and sore butt and all. Grady's horse liked to follow my horse and if I got too far ahead or out of sight, his horse would haul butt to catch up. Grady loved that!

Oh, my horse was named "Tequila." But I forgot and kept calling him "Margarita." Or "Lime." Now I don't remember at all.

We rode for about 2 hours. It was beautiful. We rode around the base of the Madera volcano and looked out over Lake Nicaragua. We rode through coffee plantations and rice fields. Banana plantations and grazing fields. We ended our ride through about 500 meters of jungle on a small trail. (Did I just say "meters?" What the heck. It was about 375 yards. Sorry.)

We all became more and more comfortable, but it was pretty tough riding. Most of the trails were covered with rocks from the many eruptions of the volcano. The horse took it well and worked hard to get us around safely. I felt kinda bad for them, but then thought, "Hey...evolve better next time and you'll get to do the riding!" 

Our trip was about 2 hours and that was enough. Hari does much longer trips and will even do overnighters if you want. I think 2 hours was enough for everyone's first trip and we got some great pictures. 

When we returned, we all got off and waddled back to the dining room and placed our dinner orders. Veggie pasta for Scott and Polly and add chicken for me! The kids played with the cutest little chihuahua newborn puppies while I shooed away the weirdest looking hairless Peruvian dogs. Yuck. They looked like sick little pigs, all rubbery and gross. But the parrots were fun. They squawked and played and entertained. 

That night, we finally got clean and turned the ceiling fan up to 11 and crawled under the mosquito nets. If you lay perfectly still under the net and let the fan blow full blast, you could cool the room down to a chilly 85. 

The next day brought homemade yogurt and honey, fresh watermelon, local coffee and bugs. That goes without saying. The kids were hesitant to leave because they loved the puppies and parrots and freedom in the jungle. As much as I enjoyed the visit, there was a pool and air-conditioning awaiting my arrival in Granada. 

It was a terrific day. 

Leave a Reply.