Published: May 26th 2012December 28th 2011
La Pintada is a truckstop town. Fill up gas and you are on your way. Not much for the typical tourist... loads of fun for the outdoorsy adventurer. We went to La Pintada for whitewater rafting. Got all the way there and discovered that they only have tours once a week. Change of plans...
Taxi driver suggests horseback riding. Some of our best advice comes from taxi drivers. Here we go. Met up with an Irishman named Paul in Medellin who decided to go "rafting" with us. Funny as hell.
A real cowboy greets me and Paul with two horses. No waivers or liability contracts. Hop on the horse and go. I'm a virgin to horsebackriding. Two minutes of trotting and I ask the cowboy to go faster. Awesome. Most relaxing experience of this trip so far. I have complete trust for the horse.
We spend 10 minutes on the beaten path. Easy cheesy. Our guide then opens a barbed wire fence leading to steep mountainous terrain...no trails. No worries, he assures us, the horses know the terrain. He leads us to a guava tree where we pick fresh guavas and eat them on the spot. Que bueno. Then it happens...
Down a steep, muddy hill. Hooves stuck two feet in the ground. I watch Paul's horse take off. Never saw the tree stump in front of them. Half a second later Paul's horse is on the ground, sideways, in the mud, and Paul...Paul is in the air. Flying. Then rolling. Luck of the Irish. Paul stands up and has little more than a scratch on his arm.
As soon as we know he and the horse are okay we have one of those "holy shit! something awful just almost happened" laughs. Hysterical. The cowboy explains that had the horse fallen on him he could've easily broken any bone in his body. Yikes. Then he tells us that he has been giving tours for 6 years and has never seen a fall. Back to laughter.
Return to town. Part ways with Paul. Kelly and I walk up Calle Viejo (Old Street). A bunch of kids play soccer with us, 10 or so. Start asking us questions about the U.S and the world. Reach the top of the street for a view of La Pintada in its entirety. Small village surrounded by jungle. Beautiful.
Great luck in Colombia so far. People are awesome. Nature is beautiful. Horses know how to fall.