Howdy cowgirl!

Trip Start Sep 20, 2007
Trip End Dec 20, 2007

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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Saturday, October 20, 2007

I used to be a member of the facebook group¨"I´d rather be a pirate than a cowboy" but after galloping down the railway line into Tupiza after trekking through the Wild West I reckon i gotta change my mind :oP being a cowgirl would be wicked!

Had a great two days riding on my wonderful horse Locallo - hes really cute, and handsome, and easy-going :o) which all men should be if they possibly can. The countryside around Tupiza is amazing, its really rugged and the rock formations are awesome. I went riding with Debra, an australian women I met in the hostel, and our guide Eduardo who was really sweet (and also quite cute :oP) - he didnt speak any english so my spanish got some good practice!

We headed off yesterday morning and walked along the train lines out of town (theres only about 4 trains a week so its used as a road...). Riding out here is soo different to england, the saddles are metal frames covered in layers of sheep skin, and they hold the reins in only one hand - its so relaxed and easy after being nagged for years about sitting like a sack of potatoes ;o)

So we walked, and trotted a fair bit (its really hard to do rising trot in a western saddle) and cantered and galloped wherever we could :oD I guess theres not really much i can say about it as essentially we did the same thing all day but it was awesome :o) I have some pictures which il put up when I can, although most were taken from horseback whilst moving so are a bit hit and miss as its pretty hard to keep still! The first couple of hours were along the road, then we stopped for lunch in a really pretty field, and after lunch headed along a wide ravine through which the river zig-zagged. There were two other girls and their guide doing the same route as us and a couple of times we all raced along the road :oD i love speed! the horses were awesome though, so easy to control, and they respond to voice commands so u can talk to the horse and it does what its told (most of the time...) oh and they neck-rein, which means the horse moves by feeling the rein on its neck rather than through its mouth as in english riding, so u can relax the reins much more and dont always need a contact. Sorry im getting technical now and boring you all :oP

We stayed the night in a little village, in a big dormitory style room, with the other two girls (Lu and Kristina). Not much there, but Debra fell in love with a baby donkey (Wallis) in the field next to our horses.

Today i woke up pretty stiff and sitting on the horse was ouch - especially when trotting! But it got better through the day :o) We did a figure of eight route so had lunch in the same place as yeserday, and then instead of following the road back to town we followed the river, and then walked along the railway line. All the kids waved as we went passed and the villagers all said hola. And then finally as we got close to home we raced along the train line and were watched and whistled at by everyone we passed :oD

So now im back in Tupiza, when I got back I sat with my legs in the pool, reading Freakonomics (thanks Al for the recommendation!). I have a sunburnt nose (its so hot here) and i am struggling to both walk and sit down, but it was worth it. Tomorrow im heading off on a 4 day exploration of south bolivia, which is going to be amazing! I´m going to see volcanic lakes (green, red, and the normal blue), hot springs, volcanoes, flamingos, and the Salar de uyuni, famous salt flats (see Pirates of the Carribean 3...) So I will be out of touch for a while, hopefully there will be lots of emails waiting for me when I get back :oD I know iv been gone a while but im sure im not that easily forgettable :oP

ĄCiao amigos!

Take care, much love,


P.S. Kian is ok! I was really worried about him after that horrible accident at Khao Sok, but hes fine, I found the names of the guides involved in a thai newspaper. Its lucky that I had Kians proper name written down, I only had it cos he asked me to send him some photos, and i really must send him a postcard now cos i felt really guilty that i hadnt. but its ok cos hes alright :o)
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