July 15, 2005

7/15/05 Málaga Spain

My first time horseback riding

Today was our last class with Klaus. But he says he likes the idea of staying long for more immersion, so he booked a flat for a month in September. Good for him. I hope we can keep in touch.

The highlight of the day was going horseback riding this evening. Some info was posted on the bulletin board about horseback riding for 20€. Rebecca, Elin's cousin, really wanted to go, but they needed at least four to sign up. In the end, it was Rebecca, Elin, Ondrej, Michael and me. We were joined by another girl from another school at the pickup point.

The ranch turned out to be in an undeveloped area near the airport. Although Rebecca hasn't ridden in a few years, she had a lot of experience with horses when she was younger. Elin had ridden before too. But Michael, Ondrej and I were total beginners. Manolo got us all setup and onto our horses so everyone could take them for a spin around the corral. Michael was convinced his horse was angry with him. “Look at her ears!” he said “They're folded back like she's mad.” I actually was having fun trying to steer my horse around all of the other riders.

High Ho Silver!

Michael looks nervous

When everyone felt at least a little bit comfortable, we set off. Mostly we rode single file, but the terrain was pretty varied; some flat sections with some steep climbs and descents in between. I was actually more afraid of the horse falling on me than actually falling off. I did pretty good, but when the horse got going faster, I just tried to hold onto the saddle.

There was a good breeze out, so it wasn't too hot. We saw a herder out with his goats. Another rider showed up and took Rebecca and her horse a little ways away so they could really go fast, without our horses thinking they needed to follow. She really is a good rider.

I think we rode about two hours. While I'm sure all of us were having a good time, you tell the horses were really sweating. I think it was a good time to head back to the ranch.

We all survived [smile]

After Manolo and Louis took us back into town, we all stopped off for a drink. Then as everyone was leaving to go home, Manolo invited me to go and meet a few of his friends. He thought it would be good Spanish practice. It seemed like a group of about ten or fifteen who meet every Thursday and Friday at a bar called Pimpi's. And as that one got crowded, we moved to another. I just didn't have enough Spanish to really engage any of them in conversation. But they all seemed nice and I just listened, trying to pick out the words. Another bar later at 2AM, I told them I was heading for home. Manolo pointed the way to the shore and once I found the boardwalk, it was a long refreshing walk home.

A refreshing drink