Andalusian horseback adventures
After months of planning Liz and I were looking forward to a weeks horse riding in Tunisia, unfortunately the weather had other plans for us! After two cancelled flights due to the worst snow storm to hit the south of England for years and an unplanned but otherwise fabulous weekend in London we hastily changed our plans and booked the next available flight to Spain.
We were relived to board the flight to Malaga and after a 2 hour night time car journey through torrential rain and gale force wind we eventually arrived at Los Alamos on the Atlantic coat. After a good night sleep we awoke to sunshine and fabulous views – our riding adventure had finally begun.
We met the team & were introduced to our horses. My horse was a 6 yr old grey Andalusian called Farouk such a sweetie, very easy going, straight forward and lovely to ride, he didn’t put a foot wrong and loved his gallops.
Our first ride to the bay of Trafalgar and Jose explained about the look out towers. These where originally used to send fire / smoke signals to warn of pirates but nowadays the modern ones are maned to watch for drug smugglers!
We stopped at a little bar by the side of the road for lunch & had a Spanish omelette & salad followed by ‘wobbly’ hot chocolate. This we discovered means hot chocolate with baileys! Definitely to be recommended… Packo a local Spanish man who lives nearby gave us a demonstration of Piaffe and Spanish walk, super to see. A gentle walk back through the Umbrella pines – or broccoli forest as the Spanish call them and back to the stables.
Antonio a horse trainer & friend of Rachel’s was at the yard to school some horses, slightly bizarre to see Dressage between the bushes in a forest but whatever works I suppose. Hot drinks & a cosy open fire await…….
The second day we awoke to the rain lashing the windows! But by 10 am it had dried up & we had a stroll down the road to the horses. Liz has been keeping herself topped up with her alternating drug doses ( & I sharen’t mention the hot whiskies!) and felt ok to ride so we headed off down through the broccoli forest to the beach.
The tide was in today with big rollers & onshore wind. We cantered along at a leisurely pace to the light house at the head of Trafalgar bay & onto the beach of lost soul’s. Named because of the 300 bodies that washed up there after the Battle of Trafalgar. A lone windsurfer was braving the wind & waves zooming about the bay.
Through the dunes and a canter back up the beach then to the pub for lunch.
The sky darkened & the heavens opened but inside the forest the umbrella pines do an amazing job of keeping the wind & rain off you. A super gallop along the tracks & the sun comes out just as we head back for a nice hot shower & dry clothes!
A lovely open fire greets us whilst we wait for another of Rhiannon’s lovely supers. We rode to the cliffs overlooking Barbate the next bay along for lunch.
As we headed back through the forest we tried to avoid the prickly Oak Processionary moth caterpillars that can cause skin irritation or asthma. Thankfully we avoided getting stung.
After our two long rides we decided a day of R & R was in order so we headed to Jerez to the Spanish riding school.
The holiday was wrapped up with a blast along the beach – fantastic