I finally got around to adding the last skill I needed into my end-of-the-world survival kit.
When the zombie apocalypse happens, and most people are running screaming from hordes of flesh-eating undead, I’m pretty sure I’ll be ok. Why? Because now, I can ride a horse. Along with the ability to start a fire with just sticks, and catch, dispatch and skin my own food I feel like this puts me in pretty good stead.
My friend Jo has been riding horses since she was small, but I’d never ridden a horse before (I’m pretty sure that plodding along on old threadbare donkeys at Blackpool pleasure beach as a child doesn’t count). As far as ‘firsts’ go, this one was pretty enjoyable. My steed for the morning was Poppy, an experienced and trustworthy horse that clearly knew what she was doing, along with being fully aware of how uselessly inexperienced I was. The trek guide took us down the beach, where Jo took great delight in getting me to try a trot, before graduating to a rising trot, and then finally persuading me that a canter would be a good idea.
It was easier than I imagined; you just have to kind of hang on and hope for the best, but I suspect that even though in my head I looked like a cross between Indiana Jones and Robin Hood, the reality was almost definitely less impressive. However graceful (or not) my riding style was, apparently I did well for a first timer, and our guide took us up into the cliffs above the beach a bit later on, a trek normally reserved for more experienced, confident riders. The horses didn’t enjoy the climb, but the view from the clifftop was one of the best views I have seen so far on this trip:
After all of the excitement and exercise, we felt like something a little more refined and sophisticated was called for, and so stopped off at a winery on the Northlands Wine Trail for some liquid refreshment. The owners were great, and after sampling all of their wares, including possibly the most delicious port I have ever tasted, we bought a few bottles and hit the road.
Sadly Jo has to be back at work tomorrow, so today was the last day of our Northlands road trip, and after the wine tasting we decided to head back to the yoga retreat she works at for a sauna and a dip in the pool. All in all, a pretty good day.