The Wildest Horse Race In The World
Trip Start Sep 29, 2007
215Trip End Dec 20, 2010
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We were dropped at the entrance to town and walked with the locals towards the festival. We felt entirely blessed to be here and witness this special day for this village which is nestled far away in the hills. We immediately noticed the special dress worn in this area, it was unlike any we had seen before
We were killing for a coffee so we asked at a little store where they appeared to be selling dough nuts. The young girl at the counter instructed us to come inside and i think they realized we were speaking English so they led us upstairs. We were seated at the family dining table whilst many generations of women were busy working around us doing dishes, shaping tortillas, making our coffee (cafe con leche) and looking after children. The home was simple and comfortable and again we felt blessed to have been invited in. The papa of the family brought the shy 11 year old son in and sat him down at the table to practice his English with us (mama is a Spanish teacher)
On the way in we passed some bars where cerveza (beer) was being guzzled. Some of the men have been up dancing and drinking all night and were now swaying around and dancing and singing. Some were already passed out in the mud or in the middle of the street. Thatīs what this festival is about. It was raining so i bought an umbrella, there was lots of mud making the horse race Even more exciting. There was marimba bands and we recorded a couple of men playing guitar and singing. There were two large ferris wheels set up which proved to be a massive hit. There was a church with bands on and elaborately dressed people of all ages dancing and wearing traditional masks of animals and strange faces and carrying instruments and props. There was fair ground type food including chips, fried chicken and hot dogs and arcade games plus the normal con artist and roulette type games. We had a delicious mango and boysenberry sorbet ice-cream for 2 quetzales each. We waited on a rooftop from where the whole fiesta could be observed and appreciated and took some awesome photos. This was a feast for the eyes, very colourful. We thought the race would come through the main village and a couple of horses passed us with slumped over drunken riders still drinking
There were lots of spectators on a hill and on rooftops surrounding the track. we squeezed our way in to the front, track side and stood in mud up to our ankles, The riderīs wearing bright hats would whip the horses and yell out as they raced from one end of the course to another, fairly well tanked on beer. Some would be just hanging on and sometimes they would fall off and a horse would be running empty of itīs rider. Hectic and chaotic. This race was so much fun as mud would fly up at our faces and the powerful hooves and us were only separated by a thin wooden barricade. There were not many tourists here and some freaked out a bit. We then changed angles by going up the top of the hill to watch the rest of the racing. A wild donkey got loose from itīs posting and ran into the crowd right where we had just been standing. It was whipped until it behaved. Our bus was leaving so we had to leave early but were kind of glad as the men were dropping like flies and it would be getting very loose in town from this point onwards. The bus back took forever and i was terribly sick with a cold which had been building for awhile.
I spent the night in a nightmarish, hot, fever with a crazy body chill. I have some cold medication and some Vicks vaporub from home. Yesterday i had woken up with a swollen throat and tongue. The cold is bad so i am resting and only going to go to Spanish school. I am hoping we donīt have to share our dorm room with anyone tonite. Hopefully i am okay to do the diving course in Honduras.