Hi o silver away....

Trip Start Nov 01, 2012
Trip End Jan 09, 2013

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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Friday, December 21, 2012

How nice we are all still here and the world lives on.. some of you may know today, 21st December 2012, was the last day of the mayan calender and there is a huge following of "preppers" and the like who believed today would see the end of the world... thank goodness they were wrong..

So the present Mark gave Robin for his birthday, was a two hour horse ride into the desert...for four....so he would not be alone...lol..!!

Mark and Svetlana picked us up at 9am and we drove to cave creek a cute village to the north of scottsdale..into the arizona desert..

As it is cowboy country the ride was western style, that`s long stirrups , no " upy and downy trotting ", a large comfy saddle with a big handle to hold if the need arises and strange steering....ie you do not pull on the reins but just flick them onto the horses neck... and they are never tight.. all very casual..

Our mounts were ready for us on arrival , Penny, for me, Tank, for Robin, and I cannot remember Mark and Svietas.. we soon set off with bottled waters in the saddle bags and It was not long until we spotted a wild coyote and a jack rabbit, whose huge long ears were hard to miss..definately a cross between a rabbit and a hare..we also saw birds of prey and plenty of cacti..

Our guide was wearing the compulsory cowboy outfit with tassles , real silver spurs on his boots and a leather stetson...it was awesome.. as we rode along the trail he told stories of how the native apache indians were driven out of the area by the white man to towns many miles away with totally different landscapes and therefore very few knew how to survive alone in the new surroundings, so had to become dependant on the state making their culture eventually disappear altogether so so sad..and we are only talking less than 100 years ago..!!.. seeing it and hearing it first hand was much more real than reading the history books..

Further along the trail he told of entrepreneurs who had bought up land out here in the wilds, for thousands of dollars, started to build huge mansions and for various reasons, were now only worth hundreds... he was a very interesting leader of our pack...hehe..

All the horses behaved well and we all had a fantastic ride however the last 20mins were so painful.. I have never riden western before and having your legs out stretched in oversized stirrups was begining to be uncomfortable, Robin was also suffering and could not wait to get back..

On arriving back at the ranch we followed in line into the corral but Tank decided he wanted to go off into the field on the left and nothing Robin could do would persuade him otherwise..so while the three of us dismounted in the yard, Robin had to be rescued by the stable boys, from the determined and overpowering Tank, obviously living up to his name..it was very funny to see actually..

Once we were on the ground both Robin and I could not walk we had such "bandy" legs it was painfully weird and again quite amusing..

We drove into the village and had a delicious lunch in a typical saloon bar.. before heading back for a nice soak in the bath..

Thank you Mark and Svetlana for really excellent day and superb present..

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