Ok, so the picture isn't a true resemblance....the scenery was WAY more beautiful! Hehe. Anyway, a long term existing love for horses meant that this was a natural choice of activity when visiting Cape Tribulation. The ability to canter through the rainforest sounded absolutely amazing. We got picked up from the accommodation in Cape Trib and arrived at the stables where about 30 horses, all identical in colour (chocolate brown) were wandering about, free in the unfenced fields. It was great to see them almost wild. Some were tacked already and awaiting some exercise. Horses were matched to riders of various abilities and I was paired with Oscar. An ex race horse. As you can imagine, I was a little nervous. Jumping onto the western style tack with a horn on the saddle and rope for reigns (love it!) we set off into the rainforest. All nerves evaporated, Oscar was a 'plodder" - very calm.
We brushed passed trees either side. On my left there was a rather windy blue and yellow thin thing which was wrapped around the leaves of a tree at about the height of my knee whilst on Oscar...as we got closer, I realised it was a snake! I steered us around it not wanting to take my chances. Apparently, it was a harmless Green Tree snake I later found out from a local. More unexpected brushes with local animals and insects occur ed. After trekking in the open areas of the rainforest, through long, lush, green grass, we entered a more dense part of the rainforest. On my left I spotted a cobweb. A huge one (!) so I hoped whoever made it wasn't home! I was wrong :( A huge golden-orb spider (as big as your hand, when open and fingers spread) was straddling it in the centre of the web. If I had not noticed this and ducked with a huge lurch to the right, that spider would have ended up on my face!! Yikes.
Since a kid I've wanted to canter on the beach too. The whole image of the sea spraying up around the horses legs, with all the beach to stride out along, unspoilt views that you can completely lose yourself in and the buzz of galloping along was really appealing. When we exited the rainforest through an archway of trees and took our first steps onto the sand on Cape Trib beach, I lost my breath a little. Its was really hard to take in the fact that it was actually happening. We walked for a while, regrouped and some pictures were taken (I just wanted to get on with the canter!). Those of us who wanted to canter were taken to the front. Oscar suddenly awoke and got his race feet on. His head raised, I shortened the reigns and squeezed him into canter. He lurched into it from standing without needed much telling! Wow. We were off and it was so smooth. With sand spraying and wind rushing passed us, the beautiful green rainforest and palm trees to our left and the huge ocean to the right, I gave Oscar a long reign and let him fly.
Our trek took us though streams, which were quite deep coming up to Oscars belly and I had to lift my feet. We carefully clambered up and down VERY steep and slippy slopes. Walking in the open again we came across the remaining horses which were roaming wild and munching on the long grass. Becoming curious of us they wandered over to join the trek. Making a nuisance of themselves, they started to spook our horses and then jumped in front of the group and led the way back. They had cottoned on to the fact we were heading back to the stables where it would be feeding time.
I was on a high for the rest of the day Xx