Monday, 26 September 2011

Lost horses and wet weather

Our third riding day was not as much fun. Our horsemen spent the whole day looking for the horses in the rain, which was careless of them. When we did start out it was late in the afternoon. Allegedly we had a long ride in front of us and the weather was cold and wet with the odd outbreak of sunshine. The ride, although longish, was very easy going and it became apparent our horsemen were used to fair-weather travelers and not battle worn diehards like Melissa and myself. Well I like to think we are quite experience in this matters. I just hope they don't think all travellers from England are as determined as us. Willing to get wet, tired and uncomfortable, all in the name of a holiday.

Melissa and I sporting a fine example of the hat under the mac style, a new fashion style not to be sneezed at. It keeps the drips away from your face, which given the chance have a habit of finding their way down your neck, making your underclothes unsuitably wet and soggy.

We had ridden up through the dense pine forest where one could imagine wolves were following our every move. My imagination was obviously getting the better of me but we had seen a paw print the size of a plate, which our horsemen Andriy was convinced had been left by a wolf. The rain had been persistent but never dampened our resolve. I just felt fortunate to be a middle aged arthritic father of two from London, lucky enough to be in contact with the wild. I’m not sure Melissa felt as romantic as I did but she did discover a cunning way of wearing her hat under her waterproof hood, which kept the rain off her face.

As with all great trips there often comes the 'Oh my God 'moment when after a grueling day heaven is revealed. It might simply be a hot shower with a warm fire and a great meal at the end of a hard day. On other occasions heaven genuinely appears and never in the shape ,form or colour you expect. On this occasion it took the form of an idyllic wooden house overlooking a gorgeous view, just 30 kilometers north of the Romanian border. Before we arrived we were met by a very happy man, a little tipsy, who it transpired was our host Vasyl. The most delightful of men and also one of the most generous I have ever met. I think he was an Angel in disguise.

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