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Horse Riding

I managed to book myself in for a horseback ride, they didn’t do horsefront riding, for 1400 and as there is a forest park thought that I would look at that, I assembled the bicycle and cycled there, it is still within the condo area which must be about 25 square miles - incidentally not cheap, a new phase is going up, 4 bed 3.5 bathroom apartments for 1.25 million us. It is sort of nearly nice but not quite for a indeterminate reasons. The forest is Ptererocarpus, or chicken foot trees, so called because they are rooted in thin soil so have to put down elaborate roots resembling chicken feet, most of the forest on Puerto rico has been destroyed so this is a conservation area. It is a peaceful place to walk, there is a boardwalk through it, made of fibreglass, unusually, as the forest works in wet soil. From there I went to find the equestrian centre, which was near the entry / exit to the development, and then rode into Humacao. As it was good Friday everything was closed, I called in at the airfield where a microlight and old beech single were parked but nothing was happening. The old part of town is nice but falling down and all along the new highways is where it all happens now which is a shame. There was an easter service in spanish in one of the churches with a very angry minister preaching, or so it seemed to me.

I found a subway open for lunch and sat and read the newspaper for a time waiting for 2 oclock.

Once I’d arrived at the stables I zipped on the bottom half of my convertible trousers and reported in, was made to sign a disclaimer and given a hard hat and then along with about 20 others we all were given ponies to ride.  Western style saddles and stirrups of cast alloy, which for me were too narrow and I could only get my tip toes onto the stirrup, they claimed not to have anything broader and once we’d set off I ended up taking my shoes off and tying them to the conveniently handy attachment points one normally uses for blankets, guns and so on. There were half a dozen children with us along with 3 local instructors and we had a nice but pretty slow and controlled ride along the edges of a golf course along a beach and back. We weren’t allowed a run because of the children and many people had not ridden before, a fairly typical pony trek in other words but fun never the less.

I was quite thirsty after that and went back out onto the  road to a local bar / restaurant I had seen  and had a bottle of fizzy water and a beer. It seemed a nice genuine local restaurant and I thought I would come back for an evening meal. I returned to the boat, had a shower ashore, fiddled about for a bit, dumped my rucksack, took minimum kit ie a pump, llights and patches in case of a puncture and returned to the restaurant. Inevitably it looked closed now, they were in fact still open and Ihad sundowners with them but food was no longer being served so I ended up at that local plaza again and had a pizza at an incredibly slow pizza place.

I’m about to check out and head to Viequies, a Spanish Virgin Island.29th

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