were all delighted with this arrangement because we were starting
to get a bit weary of all the tarmac riding and trucks and buses
brushing past us far closer than what we would consider as comfortable
(and safe). So on the morning of our departure out of San Salvador,
Miss M said her goodbyes to the Palomo family and went with Felipe
and Carlos to the stables. On arrival, Miss M was pleased to see
that the lads were already grooming and getting us ready for our
days journey. A few pictures were taken and around 9:30am we were
on our way. Taken the distance we were to do that day (about 47km)
into account, Miss M, Mise and I were quite concerned about time
and were we on our own, we would have done already 15km by this
time! But we kept quiet and decided just to go with the flow for
the first farm gate we went through, we encountered a mean looking
stallion who had his eye on Mise straight away. He had a very long
mane and an “I mean business” look in his eye and Miss
M rushed past him with some speed – I first thought he was
after me (these days you can never be sure) but yer man headed straight
for the other stallion in our group. They came head to head in a
very aggressive way and made these awful combat-like noises, snorting
and scraping their forefeet on the ground….and then nothing!
All bark and no bite is what Mise said afterwards with a disenchanted
The whole group (there were about 5 other riders)
had to come to a halt a number of times in the beginning as the
pack just didn’t sit right on Mise and Miss M had to fix it
every time. There is only one little (secret) spot that makes the
pack stay put and sometimes easier said than done to find this sometimes
elusive “zone”. The great thing though was that we were
off the beaten track and it made all the difference. In
some parts the road surface was quite rocky and the route up-and-downhill
but we had nothing to complain about with nice company, the sun
shining gently down on us and a pleasant breeze. We also rode past
the weekend-retreat of the current El Salvadorian President and
the lads indicated that he would have joined us was he there at
the current time. Probably with a bodyguard or two in tow I thought
by myself… imagine that!!
M, Mise and I were very pleased to see that both Felipe and Carlos
made a point of walking (on the ground) with their horses at times,
especially when going downhill. It is also a good opportunity for
the riders to give their legs some exercise. We really wish more
people would get into this habit as it gives us horses a good break
and it’s less strenuous on the limbs and joints. We have witnessed
some serious brutality during our journey where people would stay
on their horses while going over rocks on very steep down-hills.
They just don’t realize the damage…and in our opinion
– neither do they seem to really care.
was around 2pm on a farming village and we were dismayed at all
the rubbish and dirt lying on the ground. The farm was seized many
years ago by the government and it was very apparent not the better
Around 4 pm we came out of the mountains and onto the main tarmac
had still a bit of a distance to do though and it seemed unlikely
that we would make it before darkness fell. A short while later,
our fate for the day was decided though when a television station
from San Salvador arrived to do some footage of Mise, Miss M and
I. The Endurance lads were told to wait in the front for us and
for the next hour we had to say “whiskey” more times
than we could have cared for while the cameraman struggled with
the remaining light.
was almost dark when the filming finished and our companions who
were patiently waiting, informed us that a trailer will take all
of us for the remaining few kilometers to our destination in Santa
Ana. It was relief all around as the clouds had already begin to
gather and just after we got loaded, the rain started to pour down.
Our host for the night was the hospitable Dr Reina. A
real gentleman. He ordered Pizza’s and beer for the party
and also gave up his bed for the night so that Miss M could have
a comfortable rest.
So on this snoozy note I will sign off folks.
Mise will have the opportunity to report from Guatemala next. Ciao!!
Marianne an email >