So this past weekend a friend and I decided to take a trip up into the mountains to go horseback riding. We got a recommendation from students who had been last month and what an adventure it turned out to be!! It was the best horseback ride I have ever been on in my life. Plus it was the first time I had to figure out a trip all on my own. Usually I just tag along with other people's trips.
We had a little help from the director of the school to figure out how to get up to the mountains, but once there it was unbelievable. The most wonderful part about being here is the generosity and kindness of the people. The family that owned the horses were in the middle of washing them from their morning work, so they invited us into their house to wait until they were ready. We used the toilet and waited in their living room perusing photographs of the trip we were about to go on. We were even offered refrescos before our ride.
The ride started off on the streets of Calpan. As we got out into nature we followed a path, that wasn't unlike hiking trails I have been on in California. Next we descended into the valley and followed the path of the river. After about an hour we came to an opening in the valley that contained loads of corn plants. We got off of our horses, took a few pictures and then followed our guide through the corn plants. He proceeded to tell us about all the different types of fruits and vegetables that grew in the valley throughout the year. We then got to sample three different varieties of organically grown pears and three different varieties of organically grown plums. They were the juiciest and most delicious pieces of fruit I have probably ever eaten. It's amazing how many fruits grow out in the middle of nowhere. After our snack we got back on our horses and climbed the nearby mountain. From the top we had a panoramic view of the volcanos and the entire area around Calpan. We could even see all the way back to Puebla. It was gorgeous.
The best part of the trip was when we returned to the family's house. They offered us food and drink and then, once they found out we had taken the bus into town, they drove us back to Puebla in their minivan; Mom, Dad, three kids, my friend and I. Unbelievably the whole trip only cost 200 pesos. I don't think there exists a place in the United States where you can even touch a horse for $18 let alone go on a two hour ride in the most beautiful location.
So for those of you who were worried it would be a dangerous ride or we would get lost in Mexico or attacked by drug lords, everything turned out ok. I would definitely go back next month if any of the new students wanted to go.