Horses that swim
Trip Start Nov 06, 2010
14Trip End Nov 17, 2010
We were the only ones there that day for horseback riding, so it was like a private excursion! After donning English riding helmets, we were introduced to our Marquesan horses (known for their strong but gentle nature). Brian's horse, Sultan, was much larger than mine. My horse, Yaourt, was calm and sweet; he had a large streak of white on the front of his face which is what he was named for ("yaourt" is French for yogurt; it looked like he spilled yogurt all over his face!)
After getting a brief tutorial on how to control our horses, we were on our way with our guide Erik! The first part of the ride was a slow walk along a concrete road leading towards the airport. We then went on a trail full of trees and grasses, which slowed us down since our horses just loved to stop and munch on everything they can get to. Eventually, we ended up on the beach right by the airport, where Erik showed us the ruins of the Bali Hai Hotel, destroyed by a cyclone in 1998. That day, we saw locals digging up some of the concrete and hauling it away – not sure if it’s for personal use or something else. It was eerie to see the foundations of what was once the bedrooms, the bathrooms and even the lobby of the hotel.
The beach trail led us to Lake Fauna Nui. But before we could venture any further, we had to take shelter for 10 minutes by the trees since there was a sudden rainshower. It was neat to see the rain racing across the lake. Once the skies cleared, the horses continued on and they swam across the lake. Brian’s horse loved dunking into the lake and getting Brian wet. My horse was nicer; the water just reach up to my knees.
Once we got back to La Petite Ferme, Celine had cool lemonade waiting for us. We spent some time talking to her and Erik, asking about life on Huahine. When we mentioned how expensive everything is on the islands, she remarked that most local supplement their income by selling fruit & crops from their backyard, or selling eggs (if they’re lucky enough to own a few hens) to neighbors. Most also know how to fish, so between that and growing vegetables and fruit, they’re able to live off the land.
After Erik & Celine gave us a ride back to Fare, we decided to walk around and figure out what to do next. It wasn’t quite dinnertime yet, so just had a light snack at a roulette that sold crepes and paninis. Brian had a poulet (chicken) panini while I had two crepes: one with just bananas and another with Nutella and bananas. The crepes were cooked to perfection! Soft, slightly sweet and the bananas were soft and caramel-y. I wish they had roulettes back home!
The horseback ride tired us out, so we just lounged around our overwater bungalow. We're usually on-the-go so this was a nice change of pace. Our back patio is pretty spacious; every night after dinner we lounged outside and looked up at the stars. Brian says he enjoyed star-gazing with his eyes closed :-)