Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ireland 2010 - Day 2

I woke up the second day really sore but excited to head out again on the trail.  The first item of business was to catch our horses who had wandered all the way up the hill over night.  It was quite a hike up there but the view was amazing.


We spent the morning riding over the ridge.  At the top, we could see the entire lake and valley we'd traversed the previous day.  It looked like such an impossibly long way to travel without a car.  I imagined I was a traveler in a past age on my trusty steed trekking across the country -- that is until I had to move aside for a car to drive past.


We spent most of the day in the forest.  I got a chance to step into it and enjoy its green moss and tranquil sounds during lunch.


The rest of the day was simply making distance in the forest which seems boring in concept until one realizes that making distances means going FAST and I love going FAST.  We rearranged our horses with the fastest in front and Kiki our guide made sure we couldn't keep up.  It was exhilarating tearing through the winding forest trails whizzing by trees, scattering rocks, and splashing through puddles at almost a full gallop.  The wind howled in my ears and the clapping of Cuchulain's hooves reverberated among the trees.

After we reached our destination we let the horses out onto the field...


and then we gawked as something completely nuts happened.  A large lorrie pulled up and our hosts led the horses into the back one by one and packed them in like Tetris pieces.  We didn't know you could do that with horses -- it's enough trouble getting them into large and empty trailer all by themselves.


We arrived at our bed and breakfast, took showers and were greeted with some rain, horses, and a famous Irish rainbow.




Dinner was both delicious and absolutely hilarious.  The young French girl performed card tricks for us.  Later, Mandy told some jokes and got us all singing songs from all our different countries at the dinner table.  Andrea, one of the Germans, realized that she knew almost as many French songs as the French and Belgians at the table!


And of course, after dinner there was the requisite pub + Guinness + traditional Irish music.  Ahh what a satisfying end to a satisfying day.


Here's a video I put together of my second day.

(link at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbTCyrwpglg)