|Day 10 - May 12
Today we got up early again, spent some time at the pool talking with some children that were on holiday. I think they were intrigued by our accents and asked us a bunch of questions about America. They were so pleasant and cute. The people here in Australia are just so nice and hospitable. Apparently its the Aussie way to make people feel at home.
Around 1:30 we went to the Numinbah Adventure Trails for a horse ride up a MOUNTAIN. Our guides were young girls (about 19 yrs) named Letitcia and Darcy. They were both very knowledgeable and experienced. I was a little nervous because I still don't have all the strength in my legs yet, so holding on to a crazy horse would be difficult. But our guide promised that they would give me a gentle horse, so I feel a bit more comfortable.
We rode up a mountain and it was so beautiful. At the very beginning of the ride there was a huge spider web stretching across the patch with a big golden orb spider the middle. Ken says they are called "banana spiders" back in the states. Any way you look at it, the nasty thing needed to go, so I asked our guide, who didn't seem to be bothered by it, to take it down. After that there was a black and yellow snake right on curve that went up a cliff. Our guide shoo'd it away, thankfully, and on we went. At one point her horse didn't want to go any higher so it tried to turn around on a very narrow ledge area and it started to slip. We thought Tish was going down the mountain. Talk about a hair raising experience! We didn't know what to do. Apparently this has happened before and Tish was used to it.
We came to a stop 1/2 way up the mountain where there was a big cave and an old volcano. It wasn't the kind of volcano you'd think of (like in Hawaii), but it was there in the middle of this grassy area. I think Tish said that it still is active.
After a quick stop at the cave to have damper and billy tea (which we didn't have because someone had filmed a movie up there and used up all the matches they keep for their campfires). Tish gave us the damper bread to eat later (it was delicious with strawberry jam).
We continued on higher up until we reached the absolute top of the mountain and were able to look out. Wow! No words to explain that feeling of being on top of horse, on top of a mountain, in Australia. :o)
We started riding back and saw 3 wallaby's, 2 parrots, several cockatoo, and rode right by lots of cows (this was a working cattle ranch that we were on) along the way. The ride was about 3 hours long and we had a wonderful time. It was a nice slow relaxing ride.
At one point we tried to trot a little, and my knee just couldn't handle it, so I had to stop, but Ken trotted a little with the other guide.
When we got back they made us some tea and we hung around a chatted for a while. Seems the ranch allows girls from all over the world to come and stay and work on the ranch for a time. They learn how to care for horses and in return get to ride all they want and get room and board. What an amazing experience for any young girl! I wonder if any of our nieces would want to do that. *wink*.
It is going to be an early night because we have to get up early the next morning for the hot air balloon ride. Hope the weather is good so we can take off. I'm so excited and so is ken. Up, up and away....