While we’re traveling between worlds I thought I’d give you a glimpse of our previous life in Brazil. This is the second of two different day or weekend trips we enjoyed when we lived here before.
This post was originally published on Oct. 19th, 2011 on my old blog. At the time we lived about a two hour drive away from Aldeia Velha, where we spent a day riding horses in the very rainy rainforest.
After breakfast on Saturday morning we were driven up the road to a local fazenda and saddled up. Well, we didn’t do any saddling, we just watched the guides saddle the horses for us while we dodged the rain under the porch.
While we waited, Brian spotted this monstrosity:
I had to put the water bottle next to it because I know you guys won’t believe the actual size of that thing. It’s a meat snail, about ten inches long, and a failed micro-agriculture experiment from quite a few years ago. They were imported (from Africa?) and the idea was that they could be raised by poor families to sell for their meat as extra income (I know, gross). Shockingly, there is not a large market for snail meat so most of the original snail farmers just threw them out of their back yards after a while and the hardy beasts took over the environment. They’ve decimated the native snail populations and they eat a lot! It’s a big problem actually.
Right! Back to the horseback riding adventure.
There was me and Brian, our two friends, our ride leader, his son, his niece (I think) and two additional guides. This is the team from Vivenciar Treinamentos, who did a fantastic job of leading us through and showing us the beautiful country side including taking care of our one very novice rider.
This is my horse, Smokey. His name is really Fumaca, which means the same thing. I just liked calling him Smokey.
And this is Brian’s horse, Titan. Or, if you’re Brazilian you pronounce it Chee’chung.
Titan and Smokey it is. Isn’t he pretty?
I don’t remember the name of the breed, but they’re gated horses which means they don’t really trot and canter. They have a sort of medium speed gate that just wiggles along and is very comfortable if you’re going long distances. Brian’s back was very happy because three hours of trotting would have done him in.
So the rain didn’t really let up and we decided it was just water anyway and off we went. My big camera looked extra glamorous wrapped in a plastic grocery bag for protection. You should be very impressed since I took almost all of these photos blind. It’s nearly impossible to see through a green plastic grocery bag.
We rode about ninety minutes each way, past farms and pastures, goats and cows. There were cows in the road, calmly chewing as we walked by.
A few of them looked a little startled by us. I don’t think they get much traffic up here.
The Guinea hens and goats didn’t care about us at all.
The rain and clouds made the whole ride feel a bit romantic and secluded. The rain only came down hard for about fifteen minutes, so we had a soft drizzle most of the time. It was so quiet.
Once we reached a farm house at the top of the road we took a break from riding and hiked farther up the trail.
Ever wondered what happens to your jeans when you ride for a while on a wet leather saddle? Now you know.
My husband has such a cute, little butt and sexy legs.
Erm, sorry. Where was I?
Right. There were some loose horses and cows along the trail. This mare and her foal decided not to get too close to us.
But this pair stood right next to the trail as we walked by. So cute!
Not so cute is some of the local flora. Care to pick yourself a little bloom?
No? Me neither.
How about running into this guy? I think I’ll keep my distance.
I’ll keep my distance from both the spider and the two inch long spikes on that cactus, thank you.
There were less threatening sights to see too. The birds were everywhere, large and small. They were quiet in the rain, but the skies and the fences were full of them.
Their nests were hanging from several trees. Those nests are huge, and we were told that quite a few birds use them at the same time. A bit like a birdie condo.
It took about three hours for the whole adventure, and we loved every minute of it. Our guide took us down the mountain and through the little village and dropped us off at the front gate of our pousada, just steps away from our own hot showers. It was perfect. Muddy, wet and perfect.