Saturday, July 31, 2010

Houses & Horses

In Conwy, I spent a day walking along the harbor. I took a boat ride, snuggled with an adorable dog (have I mentioned how much I love how dog-friendly Wales is?), and came across this house:

Just one pound to go in and have a look around the smallest house in Great Britain. Granted, the tour doesn't take very long. Funny, how much it could cost to rent out a space even that size many parts of Manhattan...

I stopped into the public library to use the Internet and ask the librarian for directions to Snowdonia Riding Stables, which I had seen in a brochure advertising scenic mountain rides through Snowdonia National Park. She told me which bus to take and said, "Make sure you ride in the direction of Waunfawr." I scribbled down "Winevow" -- the way it sounded -- and she peered through her spectacles and laughed, but in a kindly way: "Oh, honey. Not quite like that."
Despite my inability to spell Welsh words, I managed to find the ponies. This one was mine:

He looks a lot like Fable, a horse we used to have at camp.

I signed up for the half-day mountain trek, which turned out to be extra-awesome because the ride consisted of just me, the guide, and another girl my age who had similar riding experience to me. So we got to gallivant all over, dodging wayward sheep and galloping up sides of mountains, through fields of heather.

I also really appreciated how safety-conscious this stable was -- I am extremely pro-helmet (/anti-brain injury), and I was happy to see that all of their rental helmets fit the British equivalent of ASTM-SEI standards. Also, when I rather cheekily (albeit politely) asked if I could help around the barn to work off part of my ride, the barn director said I could help tack up some horses and turn them out afterwards, and she'd give me 8 pounds off (about $12).

The young woman leading my ride had moved from Manchester in order to ride horses through the mountains and have it be her job. Sounds quite nice, when put like that, doesn't it?

1 comment:

  1. Aw, I thought it looked like Fable even before you said, "He kind of looked like Fable." I think Fable would be very happy to return to life as a trail horse who gets to gallop around Wales.