Tag Archives: Horses

Wine Country. Cape Town, South Africa.

12 Jan

January 4, 2010

Made it to wine country. Let me tell you, it was short of amazing for I had to drive on the wrong side of the road, in a stick-shift car for lefties, without a GPS system, via the interstate highway system, all in the name of consuming large quantities of happy juice. I’m still amazed I made it. I was thinking I need a glass of wine to celebrate. And what do you know, the wine-lodge celebrates my arrival with a FREE bottle of wine. Welcome to South African wine country. And, Happy New Year to me!

Step back for a mili-second. I would have never made it here, if it weren’t for Jessy Lipperts with Extraordinary Travel. Let me tell you she is a top travel angel. She’s up there with Ha from Vietnam.

Bill Jones, National Geographic tour guide who led me through Bhutan and has traveled 140+ of the 190+ countries in the world, recommended to reach out to Jessy to help me plan my Cape Town travels. Thank you BILL! Another travel angel…

I emailed Jessy a few weeks ago, telling her I’m coming to Cape Town. I have little dinero. And, this is my story. “I want to learn to surf. Learn about South African history/politics.  Get my hair highlighted and cut. See the beauty of Cape Town. And, drink wine.” Other than that, I’m good. She hooked me up not only with a biking tour and a licensed hair stylist but also with NGOs working in South Africa.

I knew she rocked in her first email for it had a cute masthead and signature block. Got to love marketing! Then, she wanted to Skype to fully understand my needs.

I saw that she was blond, so I knew I was in good hands in the hair department. Plus, she wanted to meet me for wine. She was going to be in Zimbabwe over Christmas meeting her boyfriend’s family, but she would make a trip to wine country just for ME. Love that! My trip was in her hands. And, if you haven’t figured it out, she exceeded all expectations.

Kline Zalze

So, Jessy hooked me up in Stellenbosh, wine village outside of Cape Town, at a winery called Kleine Zalze. They are the ones that greeted me with a bottle of wine.

My room was called Pinot Noir #5. Like Chanel #5, right? Outside my door they’re growing the Chardonnay grape, one of my favorite wines. My room overlooked the mountains and more grapes. It truly does not get better than this. The fact I did NOT total my car, makes life even better.

Not much to report, except did the wine tasting gig. They have a wine called Pinotge. It’s a light red wine. I liked it. I’m not a wine person, so I call tell you is, it was yummy. Nice review, huh?

After Stellenbosh, I drove to the another wine village called Franschhoek. By far, my favorite. I could live there. Not kidding. And, not sure what I would do for a living, except walk the streets, hike the mountains, ride the horses and sip vino. The fact I found the place, was a major miracle. Signage on back wine roads, not the best. Let’s just say, I had to go to the bathroom when I started, and after 2 hours of driving 30 miles, I no longer had to go. It’s called the sweat option…

Got a ‘little’ lost. Stopped at a grocery store to ask directions, and got the “left, right, left, left” response. I repeated I was a clueless American tourist driving on the wrong side of the road, and needed much more than that. The manager of SPAR grocery store came out, and drew me a picture. Thank you travel angel!

His picture included four round-abouts, hills and stop lights. Again, sweat…

When I pulled up to Akademie Guesthouses in Franschhoek, I knew I arrived. Cutest B&B. Old Dutch house. Hard wood floors. And, all the rooms have art work either drawn by the family or purchased locally. My room was the size of my kitchen, TV room and bedroom back home. Yes, moving in was an option.

After arrival, I walked three streets to the main street, with all the cafes, restaurants, wine bars, shops and police station. It was here, where I started to feel melancholy. I’m surprised it was the first time I had the feeling of wanting a “fun, male travel dude” with me. Drinking wine alone is only so much f-u-n.

I looked around, and all I saw was couples or families. Old, young, ugly, hot, fat, skinny, drunk, sober – all kinds from all over the world were meandering down the street holding hands, pushing strollers….You get the picture. In my mind, they all looked like they were “in love” and having the time of their life. They all could be on the “most wanted” list for domestic offenders for all I knew.

It boiled down I was feeling lonely. I looked for other single travelers or randoms at cafes, for I would have joined them. Yes, becoming that person who talks to strangers in cafes. Frightening…

I could not spy any solo sitters. “They” say retail therapy and wine helps in these matters of the heart. So, I tried retail therapy and bought some key chains and baseball cap. Yea…didn’t work. I sat down at an outdoor cafe, ordered a glass of wine, and watched people walk by. My heart felt heavy. This is the perfect place to have a part-time-lover (PTL), boyfriend, husband or, even, friend. It reeks with romance, laughter, and togetherness.

I took my wine and walked across the street to a Dutch church to pray. Sat there for a real long time talking to God. Or, what the Buddhist call meditating.

Yes, I did take my glass of wine into the church. Protestants do support wine consumption. Mediating, praying, talking, drinking wine all seem to gel nicely. I walked out feeling 1000% better.

Needed that time of reflection, thankfulness… humbleness.

But, I did asked myself. Why am I feeling this way? Why now? I’m a girl. Very good at over analyzing the situation. Now, this blog is NOT the place to share my personal boy travel stories. That is personal. Plus, my father’s clients, mother’s friends and sister’s parole officer are reading this. Boy talk is sacred, while bowel moments are not…Have to dry the line somewhere.

The cliff notes version is I’ve hit the 6 month mark of traveling. I’m not tired, to say the least. If anything, taming my curiosity energizes me. I just wanted to share wine tasting with someone I care about.

And, there seemed to be little prospects in Franschhoek, South Africa. Plus, my B&B was filled with couples, and here I am some single traveler. When I checked it, they assumed I’m traveling with a man. I had to correct them. Nope, I’m traveling alone. I guess, I feel like an outcast. Like a reject. Rationally, I know none of this is true. But, emotionally, it was a different story.

Instead of pushing these emotions or thoughts down, I sat in them all day. Hence, I went to the church to talk. Later, I wrote. And, told myself to feel the rejection today for tomorrow, we’re moving on… Tomorrow, I’m horseback riding to wineries. Drinking and riding… Now, that is a new one. Today, I feel sorry for myself. And, trust me, I milked that emotion…For I found a kitchen shop and bought some wooden salad spoons, and I don’t even eat salad.

I did have a great laugh in the kitchen shop. Next to the knives, was a burlesque section of garter belts, bustiers, thigh-high stockings and sparkling underwear….

I just stared at it, trying to understand their market mindset. Is it common to purchase a carving knife and a leopard bra together? Does the mind make that link? “Oh, need to pick up something sexy and a garlic press, know the perfect place…”

I asked the clerk if lingerie was a “hot” item. She did not understand the question. I changed it to, “big seller…” She smiled and said, “yes.” I still don’t think she understood. I needed more than a yes. I wanted to know why. I don’t think she knew the “why.” I took a picture, and left with my salad spoons, and declined the crotchless underwear.

Next day was 100% better. I was in my element once again, on top of a mighty, powerful horse named Cindy in search of wine. Bad name for an incredible horse.

We cantered through vineyards in search of a winery. Found one, two..or three. I was riding with a cute couple from London. He’s from New Zealand, and she is from England. He’s a reporter. And, she’s in communications. Sounds familiar…

They just got back from Namibia and wanted to end their month long vacation with wine too. The day is what you imagined. Drinking. Riding. Smelling. Drinking. Riding. Smelling. Perfect-o.

As we untacked our horses, I bonded with our trail rider. She told me the tragic story of her horse being killed by a car. Her horse was tied up. The wind came. The rope came loose. She trotted off towards the road. She went running after her horse. Her horse looked back one last time before the car smashed her. Her horse died before her eyes. She was 17. And, her horse was her soul mate. I get it. There is something powerful and knowing about horses. I get it.

I let her talk. And, told her how much I understood. She talked about her horse being her only friend and it has taken years to get over the pain. Again, I get it. I listened. We talked. She cried. I cried. I told her how blessed she was to have known her soul mate, even if it was short lived. Many walk this earth and will never meet, or let alone be open to, that kind of bonding, connection and trust.

She cried more. I cried more. I believe in my heart that God wanted me there. To listen. To share. And, listen some more. It made all my “don’t have a man” talk the day before seem trite.

I felt privilege to be in this girl’s presence. Privileged she is sharing. And, privileged I could be a blessing, even if it meant just listening. When I left her, I saw a different light in her eyes. A light of gratitude. And a light of relief.

I climbed back into my car made for lefties, and forgot where I was. Almost took out the gate while making a left hand turn. Having a problem judging distance, you think?

Headed back to B&B to pack and pack and pack for my flight to Dubai. Oh, sooo don’t want to leave Cape Town. Or, South Africa. My heart tells me, I will back.

If things go well. South Africa.

4 Jan

December 26, 2010….. I’m airborne. Again.

Leaving Eastern Cape. South Africa’s Wild Coast. I don’t want to leave. Not yet. Two weeks was not enough. I already miss the horses. Miss the people. Miss the comradery.  I don’t know how it happened. Or, how I even planned this. But, how blessed am I to have spent my Christmas with such a diverse, loving, open and active group of people from all over the world. I mean truly.

Commercial break. What is up with these pilots. They have verbal vomit and need to shut it. The pilot just announced that this plane had technical difficulties. They had to do an emergency landing in Durban to fix the plane. He’s trying to make up for lost time and said we should be arriving 40 minutes late, “If things go well.” What do you mean, “IF things go well???” Is he expecting something NOT to go well at 20,000 feet?

Now, I’m watching an airline attendant play with oxygen masks. Is anyone watching this? No. The masks are all tangle. She looks annoyed. Very annoyed. She’s untangling it and staring at a woman. Wait. The oxygen is for the woman. And, why is my heart racing? I’m feeling nervous. OK. She’s put the oxygen mask on all the lady. Is this what the pilot mean when he said, “if things go well?”

Point is, I’m sad to leave the horses. Kei Mouth. But, I can’t write anymore. This flight is one big, fat buzz kill…. I’m out.

Welcome Home Honey. Kei Mouth, South Africa.

4 Jan

Try this one for size.

How about coming home after a long day of trail riding, spraying ticks, washing horses and guzzling beers to find left over horse shit in your house.  You heard me.  Horse shit.

You ask, how?  Try leaving the door open.  A random horse strolling by saunters in.   Becomes a little nervous.  Knocks over some chairs.  Gets more nervous, and takes a dump not only once but twice… Welcome home honey!

That was tonight. All I can do is laugh. I mean what can you do?  Ask a bunch of questions as to the “how and why and how and why and how and who left the door open..” But, it happened.

The best was the clean up job.  Looks like someone shoveled it out, thinking we wouldn’t notice.  So, the remains are there, just adding another flavor fragrance to the volunteer house.

Happy that I’m catching a cold, numbing my senses… Even happier for those beers at the Bush Pig.  But, I’m happiest about my Pleasure bug spray  for I have a strong feeling crispy-critters will be doing the happy dance on some future fertilizer…

Need to spray me down and say my prayers… Sweet dreams…

What are you doing down there? Eastern Cape, South Africa.

2 Jan

December 13 – 18

My body is too old for this. I have to laugh because I keep thinking, “Man, I was in good shape when I was 12, 13, 14 and 15….” My inner thighs are looking at a lifetime of bruising.

Dad asked, what am I doing down here? Well, down here is only a few kilometers from the Indian Ocean. It is stunning. I’m sitting atop mountains. Mountains that are millions and millions of years old that have been carved into hills. All you do is gone green rolling hills. Indescribable.

I’m glad I’m here, even though the place needs to be pressure washed and disinfected. The first few days were abnormal. We had a hurricane like storm pass through here for 2 days — gale force winds and tremendous rain. It was cooooold and there’s no heat in the volunteer house. This meant, no showers for me.

Dad wanted to know what I’ve been doing? So, here’s a recap.

Day 1: Arrived. Greeted by the rich fumes of dog, horse, mold and manure. Welcome to a horse farm!

Day 2: Drove to East London – 45 mins from Kei Mouth – with the volunteers to Christmas shop. Saw a movie. Bought name brand toothpaste, Pantene shampoo and vitamins.  No shower b/c too cold.

Bed at 9:34 pm.

Day 3: Horse rolled on leg. Hurricane, gale force winds. Rain. Cold. No shower, too cold.

Bed at 8:12 pm.

Day 4: Rain gone. Sun out. SPF and bug lotion on.

Groomed 30 horses, checked for ticks, fed the horses, cleaned saddles.. Speaking of ticks, was in the tack room with Julie-Ann and Roz. Felt something crawling up my leg. Julie-Ann told me to pull down my pants. Right there. I did.

Damn, there was a crispy-critter, little black Tick crawling up my leg in route to the privates. I almost hyperventilated and fainted on sight. Not about the bug but about where the little thing was going.

Now, I feel like I have ticks all over me. Crawling in my hair. In my underwear. Down my back. I’m constantly heading to the bathroom, tearing off my clothes and applying more Pleasure Spray. That is what I call the flea, tick and mites spray. Pleasure Spray… It provides me much pleasure.

This afternoon, we galloped along the Indian Ocean (beach). Amazing! So much fun. I rode a Thoroughbred. He hauled ass. I just grabbed the mane and let him go. Loved it!

After riding, we headed to a local watering hole, called the Bush Pig. Very interesting characters. We played pool. And, some married men bought us shots. I dry heaved and threw it up on the floor for it had Jagger. I was wearing and smelling of horses, so being lady like never crossed my mind. Just a FYI, can’t do jagger. After beer and pool playing, we came back to the farm and unloaded the car. Trying carrying saddles and shit after drinking five or six beers…

Bed at 8:34 pm.

Day 5:  Today was charity ride.

Try 20 horses/people on a ride along the Indian ocean, across ravines, over hill tops, and around cliffs. We are raising $$ for a charity that works with the local tribe people to teach them how to take care of their horses.

The local people use barb wire as bits. And, punish horses by hammering their ears to the wall. The charity needs money to buy more saddles, bits and other materials for the local people.

The volunteers – Roz, Amanda, Alex and Tiny Tito (other Amanda) – were responsible for grooming, tacking all 20 horses. So, we’re up early and at the beach padlock even earlier.

First job was to catch the horses in the field. We’re talking about acres and acres and acres. Before catching them, we need to find them. Tiny Tito (other Amanda) and I set out to herd the horses.

We found them. Then, had to scream “yeeehawww!” to get them to move to the padlock. Try encouraging 20 horses to move in the direction you want. After a lot of “yeehaawws!” and a lot of cussing, we got them to the paddock.

I road another Thoroughbred who likes to run. Today I wore gloves because reigning in a horse of this caliber means extra, puffy blister on these porcelain hands. Can’t have that. Plus, I need extra help in the gripping game.

So, how’s my leg? About to give out. It’s my knee that kills. From the horse rolling, some random muscle from my ankle to my knee was whacked. So, I just turned my Advil into Tick Tacks for the day. No pain for me.

Many highlights of the day. One in particular, was hustling 20 horses onto a ferry boat/barge to motor across the mini-inter-coastal water way. Yep, we’re talking 20 animals weighing in at 600 kilos a piece and 20 large men & woman weighing in a little less. The ferry looked like it would sink. The ferry operator looked like he was going to shit. The horses looked the same. They were jammed like sardines. Some of us, Roz in particular, were waiting for one of the horses to kick, bite or shake. Inevitable, it would displease another horse, and mayhem would ensue. Guess what? Not one horse acted improper. A few took major dumps, but everyone, even us humans, were cordial. This called for major drinks!

Another highlight was prego girl and broken back girl. Prego girl has had complications and, yet believed it was wise to ride a horse for six to seven hours. Broken back girl recently fell off a horse, had back surgery, been in physical therapy and yet, felt it was wise to ride six to seven hours. I guess there are always two winners in a group of 20. After lunch, we placed their butts in the back of a pick-up truck. And, their two horses rode solo. I had forgotten horses are pack animals and hate being alone. So, these two horses just ran, walked and pooped along side of the herd. Cool to watch..

We ate lunch at a place called Seagulls, where Hillary Swank stayed when filming Amelia Earhart. Yep, they filmed part of the movie in Kei Mouth, South Africa. The place truly looks like Northern California in some parts. Pristine. Natural. Bankrupt. And, dangerous. The motel and restaurant has gone to pot since then…Just in case you’re thinking of booking a room there.

After the ride. And, after the Advil wore off, my body screamed “no more.” I screamed back, “too bad.” And, decided it was time to take a shower, check for ticks and shave my legs with my Gillette razor.

Bed at 9:01 pm.

Pretend I’m 15. Eastern Cape, South Africa.

2 Jan

Morgan Bay, South Africa.

December 13, 2010

I love horses. Used to ride, and even, show horses as a child. When I planned this around-the-world gig, I had certain “must dos.” And, working with horses made the top ten list.

  1. Rekindle and forge friendships
  2. Meddle in the Middle East
  3. Build something lasting
  4. Transport tall-body across Russia
  5. Soak up confused communism
  6. Do the Buddhism gig in Bhutan
  7. Pretend I’m 15 and ride horses
  8. Drink in South African people and wine
  9. Smooch boys in Australia and New Zealand
  10. And, expand, extend and enlarge my soul

Found the perfect place to channel my inner horse child, Sunray Farms in Kei Mouth, South Africa. It’s the place for all things horses – Horse riding. Horse training. Horse trailing. Horse cleaning. Horse kicking. And, Horse smelling.

After the Safari, I had a few days down time in Jo’berg (Johannesburg) before jetting off to Sunray Farms. Everyone and their raccoons told me to NOT to leave myhotel without armed guards, a set of exacto knives or a titanium vest while in Jo’berg, so I spent a few days not moving and opted to hand wash clothes, watch D+ movies and fall in love with a STRIP mall.

Don’t tell, but I actually walked down the street by myself in broad daylight. The supermarket, ENGLISH book store and outdoor coffee cafe were all too tempting. I mean, I have not seen proper turn lanes, parking spots or visa machines since Poland. And, the grocery store had check out lines, a nut and candy dispenser, produce wrapped in plastic and meat behind glass. I spent an hour in the g-store taking pictures and touching aluminum cans. Did I tell you they have brand name toothpaste too? We’re talking a world class city people!

Two days of fondling canned vegetables was enough. On day three, I boarded a puddle jumper, prop-plane from Jo’berb to a town called East London, located on the Indian Ocean.

Brandon, son of Julie-Ann and owner of Sunray Horse Farms, was waiting for me at the airport with flowers and champagne. JOKE! He had just got off work. He markets/sells meat to small grocery stores and restaurants around the area. He was over served the night before and did not fall asleep until 3 or 4 am, to wake around 7 am for work. He announced within three minutes of my arrival that he must stop by a gas station for a pie. I thought it was strange he was craving a dessert when hungover, but I just nodded my head.

We found a gas station. Brandon came out, not with a dessert pie, but what looked like a hot dog wrapped in pastry bread. That was my introduction to meat pies in South Africa. Yep, could tell right away that this stay was going to be different…

Brandon was telling me on the way to the airport to pick me up there was a police road block. He believed the cops were tipped off about possible drug smuggling. In this part of South Africa, the farmers are paid by drug “lords” to grow pot in the corn fields or the jungle. The farmers get a cut. I guess now, the police want a cut too.

Brandon said the South African police conduct road blocks all the time. It’s the norm. They want to see if you’re legal – have your license, car registration, insurance, seat belts, and tires filled with air. Oh, they’re checking for booze breath too.

He said the police do it for many reason, one of which is to make sure the cars are safe to drive, the people driving them are legal, and drug smuggling is curbed. Wonder if this is what Arizona had in mind?

I arrived to the farm late and met my two new roommates for the next two weeks. Another Amanda. She is a full time worker at the horse farm, from South Africa and around twenty years of age. Roz is a 3 to 6 month volunteer from the UK. I later found out they are both “super cool.”

But, first impressions of the place where I’ll be resting my head this holiday were dismal at best. The first thing I noticed was the smell. Dog, mold combined with a manure fragrance filled the house. The common area was coated with white, Russel terrier hair and a farm of flies. And, my bed made for little people, inherited the wet, mold smell along with more flies. When I closed my eyes the first night, I just giggled. It all felt right. I mean, this is a horse farm, not the Four Seasons or Holiday Inn Express. What did I expect?

When I woke my first morning, the feeling of euphoria overcame me. I could not wait to meet the horses. I bound out of bed. Walked to the community bathroom and was welcomed by a millipede, spider and more flies. I ignored them. Went for the DEET bug spray, coated the body and headed to breakfast.

Over breakfast, Roz gave me the 411 on what I’ll be doing. Looks like we work from 7am or 8 am until 5 or 6 or 7 pm. We have an hour for lunch, or sometimes 10 minutes.

There are around 60 horses and three main pastures. One at the game reserve. One at the ocean. And, one here. I believe we check on the horses in the morning. Groom them. Feed them. Wash them. Ride them. Train them. Or, we lead tourists on beach or game horse rides along the Indian ocean and thru game reserves. It depends on the tourist bookings. I can expect to ride between one to six hours a day… Mouth did drop on that one.

I rode horses as a child. Rode until I was 15 or 16 at Barrett Farms for those who live in Orlando. My version of my horse riding story goes like this. Mom and Dad gave me a choice when I was 16 – a horse or a car. In my warped mind, I believed them. I choose a car for I assumed it would be a convertible, red, VW Rabbit. I mean, why wouldn’t an irrational 16 year old girl think this?

Come birthday, Dad gives me a small box. The keys are inside. I just knew it. Opened it. A gold key chain engraved with the words, “Big Blue” rested on top of the fake cotton. I wondered, “Big Blue???” Yep, Big Blue was the name of the 1960+ Chevrolet Pick-Up Truck he inherited from some random cousin in Mississippi. It was our Orange Grove Truck. Only one wind-shield whipper. No seat belts. Rusted flat bed. Holes in the floor board. And, no radio. I remember thinking, “This is NOT what I had in mind….and wanted to change to the horse option..”

My horse career was over, for pursued rowing for the hot high school boys. But, in the back of my mind, I longed to work and ride horses again. So, here I am.. In a town called Kei Mouth. With a bar called the Bush Pig.  Two food stores called Top store and Bottom store. And, two main roads…

It’s where South Africans travel for their summer holiday.  It’s where one is mesmerized by the intoxicating views of rolling hills, green pastures, game parks and the Indian Ocean.

Yes, can’t wait for this amazing ride….flies, ticks, dog hair, horse breath and all…

Camping Mongolia Style

25 Sep

We loaded up the S. Korean bus and headed out of Ulaan Baatar, capital city, in search of our authentic, nomadic, Mongolia GER camp. Just a quick 411. It’s a camp comprised of yurts. Following me here? According to Wikipedia, a yurt is a portable, felt-covered, wood framed dwelling structure used by nomads. A yurt is a home more than a tent. They are popular among nomads. We were going to a camp, run by Mongolian “nomads” and staying the night in a yurt. Got it….

The roads leading out of the city into the country side are what you expect – pot holes, dusty and fairly non-existent. Construction is everywhere – I mean, things are hoping. I asked if the government is building these roads. The bus driver, Mia, said “no, private business. Private business interested in tourism, copper, coal and minerals. Government makes deal with them – part of it is to build roads.” Well, that’s good. This blog, I’m going to show more pictures than words for I can’t describe in full detail the vastness and beauty of Mongolia.

We did make a brief pit-stop in our 3 hour journey. A private company has bought acres upon acres of land in no-where-ville. Their goal is to have the first large scale tourist attraction in Mongolia. Instead of hotels, they are building 200+ yerts. It’s the Disney world of Mongolia.

So far, they’ve erected a HUGE statue of Genghis Khan riding his horse. It’s the biggest thing I’ve ever seen. Phase I is completed. Looks like Phase II is irrigation. Need green in the desert. Next, is the foot print for the yerts. And, don’t forget the toilets. Back to Disney….Mr. Walt bought all this useless Florida swamp land. He built a castle. Branded a mouse. Open the doors. The crazies came…

We’re greeted at the GER camp by a Mongolian family. Hot water. Hot tea. Hot anything would work at this point. We dropped our bags at our yerts (tents) – which are fully stocked with real beds, real wool blankets and a real iron stove – and set off in search of the Mongolian ponies. I’m 6 feet. Ponies don’t work well with TallGirl. My feet were almost dragging on the ground. But, hell, if the Khan family conquered China and Russia on these things, they must be sturdy and could handle a 6 footer.

We’re off. Sauntering along. Ponies are good. We’re laughing. We’re talking. Until, Mongolian pony is spooked. Possibly stung by a bee. Bucking. Bucking. And, David from Belgium goes flying. Flying. Flying. Then, Dave from Canada goes flying. Both Davids are on the ground.

The horse is bucking and hauling ass the down the street. Both Davids get up. They’re fine – or so we thought.

Mongolian horse man goes after the horse. Mash, our fearless Mongolian leader, is just sitting on his horse. He gets off. Just stares. Meanwhile, I’m the only one that has ridden. I get off my horse. I get the girls off their horses. Don’t want another horse to be spooked. And, we all go over the comfort the Daves. It looks like Canadian Dave dislocated his shoulder. One arm is longer than the other. Not a good thing when you’re in no-where-ville, Mongolia.

I go to Mash, “are you going to call someone? Dave needs a ride to the hospital? Car? What are you doing?” He looks stunned. He gets his cell phone and says, “I have no connection here.” DUH. We’re in the mountains of Mongolia.

Mongolian horse man comes back with bucking pony, that now appears calm and takes a dump. Mash and horse man exchange Mongolian words. Horse man gets back on his horse and hauls ass – again – for camp to get the car. Long story short, Dave went to the hospital. They put is arm back in the socket and he was loaded up with shots and pills. He’s drugged. He’s good.

After the commotion, the rest of us got back on our horses to finish our trek. No one was scarred by the bucking incident. Even David from Belgium got back on his horse.

That night, we had another large meal of meat, dumplings and more meat. They said, “no horse meat,” but who knows… Maybe it was camel. Our yurt was a zillion degrees inside. They stocked the iron stove. So comfortable. We crawled into our beds and waited for the fire to go out and the cold to seep in.

By 3 AM, its negative degrees inside. I put my green cashmere hat on my head. So warm. Around 7 AM, the Mongolian daughter knocks on our tent door and restart the fire. YEA. Not getting out of this bed until it is warm. About 30 mins later, I think we were reaching 70 degrees inside. YEA! Changed and headed up for some more food. Before that, Kiki and I went for a mini-hike to stretch our legs.

It was a brilliant time. Brilliant. Well, besides the hospital trip… Enjoy pictures below.