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Up earlier today, mainly because horse riding started at 9am but also to get a hot shower. This didn’t seem to make a difference so an artic shower for J and a french shower for V.

J ate the ropey sweet bread from the hostel and V grabbed a yoghurt on the way. We were marched to the square where our carriages awaited, with our guide Horacio. V immediately noticed the size and age of the poor horses and whispered to J: ‘Christ I’m going to kill it’. We were given the two bigger horses (which were still borderline donkey and going grey) and the, small but relatively chunky, guide took his younger dog, I mean horse. His legs could almost touch the ground when in the saddle, it was like mounting Claudia.

Putting our guilt aside we rode out of town and into the Quebrada towards the Garganta del Diablo waterfall and canyon. We climbed a steep rocky trail the whole way up to 2807m with the horses almost stacking it several times. V’s horse was intent on walking as close to the sheer cliff edge as possible, regardless of this V fell in love with him, talking to him the entire way (there and back, in both Spanish and English incase he only understood one language). J wasn’t quite as passionate about his ‘Snowflake’ who was happy slowly plodding behind.

The scenery was amazing, especially in the morning light. The mountains were many different colours with snow on some of them. Shed loads of cactus, not many people and the bright blue sky made for an enjoyable ride up the mountain.

At the canyon we walked the horses down the super steep track and then at the waterfall we left them to munch on some plants. We ate biscuits and had a sweet hot drink made from maize (called abi or something) and chatted to our guide about the phallic cacti.

The return journey was a little hairier as it was downhill the whole way with the horses tripping up a lot on the rough terrain, very close to the edge. Some tightening of the saddles and grabbing the back was required, but it was good fun.

Although we both wanted to go a bit faster, it would have been impossible and would have literally killed our horses. So we were quite content to go slow and let them have a few breathers, plants and water along the way.

Back in town we went to the tour place to pay and pick up our water that we left there. To our astonishment they had been helping themselves to it and it now smelt like bad breath. J was particularly upset by this and continued to mention it all day.

Had another set lunch at the cheap place by the bus terminal, this time with a pasta/meat/potato stew thing, soup and jelly.

Back at the hostel El Sleepo got to work whilst J did stuff to Anna’s website. We went for icecream and a tortilla before coming back to the hostel to write a load of blog posts.

Out for dinner (pizza and more llama) but both not feeling on top of the world so both dishes got left less than halfeaten. Maybe it’s the altitude. Or maybe it’s because we are pathetic.

In bed we were disturbed by the ridiculous Chinese girl (the girl that can only say ’si’ repeatedly) making llama/chewbaca noises in an attempt to speak Spanish or tune herself in. Jackie Chan speaking Spanish is almost as bad as the woman with the Bristolian accent.



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