Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

A wild ride

Our first full day at our new location started with breakfast in bed.  How very civilized :)  It was Chris' first exposure to room service and his excitement was infectious.  After that, still being lazy, he had the idea to read through our guestbook from the wedding.  What a perfect start to the day.  Several of the pages brought tears to my eyes, while others made me laugh out loud.  Pretty well everybody filled out a page -- even Batman!  Although, I admit I don't recall seeing him there *g*   I know some of the day blurred in my memory a bit but I like to think I'd remember that.  The food from the reception also left us a page -- fortunately without samples ;-P   What really got to me though was the thought behind so many of the comments.  Some commented on memories I'd all but forgotten.  Others super-kind and heartfelt wishes.  And some referenced stories long before Chris and I met, which were fun to learn about :)

We took our time getting up and meandered our way down to the pool, where we spent the rest of the morning.  I finally got to read my kobo!  Hahaha woohoo!

After lunch we walked back to the old hotel to see if we could find Jen's cover up that she'd lost on the last day.  No such luck :(   Then a nice walk up the beach lead us back to the horses.  We had found a place just off the beach the other day, and promptly told all our friends about it so they could get some riding in before they left.  They went and had a blast, so we booked a 5:00 time, figuring it'd give us sunset.  Paula told me, "you want Toby.  He looks like nothing, will probably be asleep, and hates life.   But he loves to run."  hahaha perfect.  When we booked it, Chris told the guy that we're experienced, so he said he'd bring his fastest horses *g*
Steph C took this pic of Toby playing in the ocean
Back to the pool for the remainder of the aft.  When it came time to get dressed, putting on jeans was painful.  But we did it.

Got to the appointed place on the beach, and sure enough -- I got Toby :)  Sweet.  Didn’t even ask.  We started out on a trail through the woods looking at monkeys.


When we got to the road (just outside the Monkey's Bar) the guide asked us if we wanted to go faster.  Yes.  How much? He asked while demonstrating a slow trot.  Fast.   So he waved us ahead to let us set the pace and game on *g*

Toby and I were off with Chris right behind.  Called out for directions and from way back the guide shouted turns, and a warning to watch for cars!  Yeah, no worries.  Sheesh.  Hahaha I just hoped if we saw any Toby had a decent sense of self-preservation *g*   The guide was way behind as his little horse didn't have the speed ours did. 

I had no breaks -- my "bridle" was essentially a halter with a leadline attached to each side.  And my pony wanted to RUN!  But I did have awesome steering.  I was amazed at just how responsive to legs and weight little Toby was.  You don't expect that in a trail horse.  So much fun :)

Gallop was a blast and we pulled up abruptly before running into some terrified beginners.  Terrified and snarky beginners.  Ugh.  But we walked by them quietly and our guide seemed to find it amusing.  He took some pics of us at the murder tree (not sure what it's really called, but it suffocates another tree to live.  Is quite impressive looking while doing so though ;)   


Then we cut through the horse' paddock and more trees with monkeys, letting our critters catch their breaths.  Although have to admit, Toby was pretty fit.  Given that the guide said he doesn't get to do that very often, I would've expected him to need a longer recovery.  My guess is they're not trail horses all the time.   We came out from the paddock on the same road we'd started on.  Did we want to go again?  Ummm YES!  Of course :)


This time I held Toby back a bit, thinking Chris and I could ride together, but he passed me ;-P   I should've known.  Hahaha then stones were flying at me, so I had to back off.  Booo.  At least until we got back to the dirt road -- then it was game on :)  So. Much.  Fun!   Sadly we caught up with the angry beginners again, but they were posing for pics, so we were able to get ahead of them and went to play on the beach.


Racing down the beach was a riot!  I was moderately concerned about some of the innocent bystanders, but Toby seemed to know how to hold a line, so all was good.  Chris and I were goofing around trying to take pics of each other while racing flat out along the beach -- doesn't get much more entertaining than that :)  

Not having any fun at all ;)
Chris definitely had the better backdrop for his photo!
Ended up back where we started, but…  The guide said we could go again!  Woohoo!  So we walked back through the trees to the other end of the beach to let the ponies have a breather.  

More monkeys on the walk back :)
In doing so, we noticed the beginners crawling along -- the sea turtles were *much* faster!   We figured we should wait till they got off the beach, so goofed around taking pics in the water until the route was clear.

Toby was more into the racing than the posing for photos
Then it was time for one last run.  Omg so much fun!  Toby kicked it into gear!  And I was down closer to the water on the packed sand, so he had an easier route.   Chris' horse ran out of gas part way and the guide's horse just didn't have any speed to begin with, so Toby and I ended up *way* ahead.  Just an absolute blast!  

Kinda love this shot of mounted camera wars.  So much fun!
Was also the first time Chris and I have actually really ridden together.   Technically we were foxhunting the first time we met -- but I've no memory of him there other than as the random guy who kept falling off ;-P  And the short ride on the excursion doesn't count, mostly because he was too far ahead of me to count as riding together.  Hey - my story, my rules.  First real ride together and it was amazing.

After the ride, we went and got beers for the guide and his friend -- and promptly got a nasty note from the security guard for doing so.  Sheesh.  Given the amount of beer I haven't drank this week, I can't bring myself to feel even remotely guilty for giving a glass away.

For dinner, using the same system as last night, we got into another of the a la carte restaurants.  Awesome.  There was not much on the menu I had any interest in, so Chris ate both our courses *g*  But he enjoyed it and I enjoyed the company.  So all good. 

We wanted to go swimming again tonight but the water was dangerously rough :(  Booo.  I'm surprised how disappointed I was, but I'm not a strong enough swimmer to play games with the ocean.  Pretty much has to be perfectly calm for me to risk that game.  And that it definitely was not.

Still, finishing the day with a moonlit walk along the beach under the stars…?  Not half bad :)

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