Photographer's Note

Adventure of a crazy traveller, continuation.

I will return to Cienfuegos but now I put colours on my Cuba map. The next province, Sancti Spiritus, and the gem of Cuba, Trinidad.
Everywhere in Cuba you see a lot of horses. Already in Warsaw I read about the trips no horseback, so when the lady in my hostel asked me if I wanted to go for such a trip, I agreed. I have already ridden a donkey in Sicily, camel on the desert near jaisalmer and elephant in Thailand, so I could try horse. Of course, I was afraid, I am afraid of everything.
I went with a young guy as a guide. We went to into the Valle de Ingenios to El Cubano. First, we stopped in the bar. It is the sugarcane area, so I could see how the juice is produced and tasted a glass o it (it is called guarapo). It is sweet, as you can guess :). Then we have ridden through the forest for the other stop to have freshly made coffee, and the highlight was the picnic at the foot of a waterfall. There was quite deep (5 m) pool.The 60-foot ribbon cascading into a deep turquoise pool was an oasis. Other riders and hikers had already gathered on the slippery rocks. Braver types were cannonballing and diving in headfirst from rocky outcroppings. I also swam in my sexy swimsuit I got from the girl in Havana. Then we have ridden through the tropical forests to the view point on the mountain and finally back to the same bar. After some hundred meters the guy noticed that the pocket of my backpack was open. "Check if you haven't lost anything". I checked - my mobile was missing and also the keys of the casa particular where I was staying. I was desperate. The boy returned to the bar - and found my mobile lying on the ground! I was lucky :). But the keys were not there.
My horse was very quiet, nothing to be afraid of. It was quite high so I have problems to mount it. The guy handed me the reins and demonstrated the proper hold — one-handed steering. He showed me how to turn left and right by pulling on the reins attached to a bridle in horse mouth. Pull back? That meant stop or slow the hell down. It was quite easy.
Horseback riding looks so romantic in the movies. It’s not. It is so uncomfortable! When the horse went slowly, it was OK, but when it went a bit faster, it was very painful. The riding on camel or elephant was like sitting in comfortable armchair compared to it. And it was impossible to hold the reins and make photos:).

When I came to the hostel I told that I lost the keys and could not enter my room. The lady and her family looked everywhere for another set but could not find it. After half an hour or so I checked my backpack once more - and I found them. Everything ended well :).

It was my first riding a horse - and the last for sure. But after a few days , when my ... recovered, I was happy that I tried.

Other travellers

My backpack, my horse and my guide :)

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 12724 W: 133 N: 32881] (150873)
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