Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Monday I went horseback riding to visit this market that's on the other side of the canyon from where I live. There are two ladies from the states here right now teaching english and they were going to go so I asked if I could tag along. Originally we were going to hike, but then one of the guides suggested going on horseback which sounded good (at the time). You have to go down into the canyon and then back up to get to the market, and we assumed that we would be taking the road into the canyon. Instead we ended up taking the crazy steep trail that I don't even like walking down. When the guide told us we were going that way we all looked at each other like "oh crap!". It's one of those moments that you remember you're not in kansas anymore =). In the states everyone is so anal-retentive about safety and here it's like, "whatever, you can hike that 8 inch trail hugging the side of the cliff, what's the big deal?" So we headed down, skidding and slidding the whole way. It didn't really seem to bother the horses at all, which makes me think they have some goat blood or something. Then we crossed the river which was also interesting as the horses aren't very big so I was ackwardly sitting with my legs up by the horse's neck as not to get my legs wet. Coming up the other side of the canyon was a bit hair-raising too since it was very rocky and steep. But we made it to the market alright, which was a lot bigger than the one in my town. I think I've gotten to the point where I don't need to see anymore markets (or at least go out of my way to visit). They all have the same sort of stuff, the bigger markets just have more of a variety. There are the fruit and veggie stalls, the stalls selling a variety of toiletries, the rubber boots and clothes stall, and then all the food vendors. The food is usually either fried fish, chunks of pork or beef, or french fries with a fried egg. Coming back from the market was even more humerous because our guide had bought a sheep and proceeded to drag and carry it back. I have some good pictures of him crossing the river on horseback with the 60 lbs sheep across his saddle in front of him. He also went up the steep trail with this arrangement. Luckily the rest of us went up the road on the way back which was much preferable. The sheep did make it although I think it's going to be recovering from shell shock for the next several weeks. We were riding for a good part of the day, so my rear is still recovering a bit, but it was worth it to do it once (I have no plans on ever riding down the trail ever again).